What is Disability Discrimination in the Workplace?

Until the 1990s, employees with disabilities lacked workplace protections against discrimination. Recent changes in the law obligate employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities who can still perform their jobs. These accommodations can include changes to work duties. In this video, Los Angeles employment law lawyer Douglas Silverstein explains disability discrimination in the workplace and the duties employers have to provide reasonable accommodations.

Video Transcription

Disability discrimination is another form of discrimination. This is probably one of the most recent amendments to the law because until the early nineteen nineties, employees with disabilities could be discriminated against. This is a dramatic step forward in the development of the law that protects employees in the workplace and essentially, it means that if someone can still perform their job as they’ve always done it, or with some minor modifications to how they perform the job, the employer has an obligation to grant those accommodations known as reasonable accommodations that allow the employee to do the job. For example, if an employee engages in manual laborer and has to lift things but has a lifting restriction, the employer is obligated to provide some sort of equipment that allows them to lift things more easily. Oftentimes, there are air pressure lifters that make it much lighter for someone to lift something. That’s just one example. An economic workstation might be another example. These are changes that allow the employee to perform their job even though they have some disability that in the absence of those changes, would make it more difficult for them to perform the job. Employers have a duty to actively engage with employees to figure out ways to restructure their job so that they can do it. If you want to learn more about employment law in California, take a look at our website CaliforniaLaborLawAttorney.com.