Employers are liable for the ability of their employees to meaningfully engage with their work. This means accommodating the disabilities that workers may be overcoming, including new limits to abilities since an employee was hired.
A former employee of a retail chain recently won a judgment against the company after experiencing disability after a work-related accident. The worker injured his lower back on the job and reported it to his employer, received medical care and was assigned temporary work restrictions.
A doctor declared the plaintiff “permanently stationary” after two years, and the chain put him on involuntary leave. The plaintiff then brought action against his former employer for several violations related to disability discrimination.
These charges include failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the interactive process and failure to take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
The issue of reasonable accommodation is often the key element of a disability discrimination case against a current or former employer. The Americans with Disabilities Acts offers some basic guidelines on how this accommodation is legally fulfilled.
The court approved payments to the plaintiff for lost wages and emotional distress. These are the potential outcomes of a successful disability discrimination case, particularly if it can be proven that the current or former employee was denied material benefits that should have been included in his or her compensation for work.
Legal representation is often an advisable step for possible victims of disability discrimination or other types of workplace discrimination.
Source: Benzinga, “Attorney Joseph M. Lovretovich Wins Disability Discrimination Case Against Costco,” Sep. 08, 2017