Disability & reasonable accommodations in employment
For individuals with disabilities: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
- Under state and federal law, past drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness are considered disabilities.Current drug use OR using drugs or alcohol at work are NOT considered disabilities.An employer CANNOT discriminate against you based on a disability.An employer MUST provide you with “reasonable accommodations” for your disability (with 3 exceptions).If your conviction was CAUSED by your disability, an employer MUST make a “reasonable accommodation” for your criminal record (with 3 exceptions).The federal EEOC and state DFEH are the government civil rights agencies that enforce your rights against discrimination based on your disability
This section will explain the laws that protect workers (including job applicants and employees) with disabilities against employment discrimination. It will explain what types of disabilities are protected against discrimination, what your rights are if you have a disability, and what you can do if an employer violates your rights or discriminates against you based on your disability.
Employment discrimination resourcesFind an attorney or civil rights agency to help you
If you think an employer has illegally discriminated against you based on your disability, a lawyer could help you decide what your legal options are. There are 3 types of resources that may be able help you:(1) Legal aid or employment attorney:Legal aid attorneys provide FREE legal assistance to people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer (like a public defender, but for lawsuits and other civil legal cases). Many private employment attorneys only charge fees if you win or settle a case, so you may not have to pay anything out-of-pocket UNLESS you win money from the employer. To find a local legal aid attorney or employment attorney in your area:
- Call 211;Contact the local county bar association, or look on the State Bar website at http://lawhelpca.org/find-legal-help; orVisit the California Employment Lawyers Association website at http://www.cela.org/?page=4;For a list of legal aid offices throughout California, see PG. 1127.
You can also contact a non-profit organization that helps people who have been discriminated against by employers based on their disability:
Resource list continues on next page.(2) Government civil rights agencies There are 2 government agencies responsible for enforcing your rights against illegal discrimination by employers. Because federal and state law are very similar, you can generally ask either agency to enforce your rights if you think an employer has illegally discriminated against you. For more information about how to report discrimination and file a complaint with the EEOC and DFEH, see PG. 612.