FEHA protects all workers with medical conditions from being fired. This applies to employees with health problems, medical conditions, or physical/mental disabilities.
Protecting employees with disabilities
FEHA protects against failing to “make reasonable accommodation for a known physical or mental disability” § 12940(m)(1) and prohibits against failing “to engage in a timely, good faith, interactive process with the employee”… “to determine effective reasonable accommodations, if any, in response to a request for reasonable accommodation by an employee… with a known physical or mental disability or known medical condition” § 12940(n). Employees with disabilities can’t be terminated if they can perform their duties with the help of reasonable accommodations. What is a reasonable accommodation? It could be a change in the facilities, work schedule, or another job aspect that allows workers to perform the tasks they need to complete their daily jobs.
Protecting employees with medical conditions
FEHA prohibits discrimination against an employee based on a physical or mental disability or medical condition §12940(a). FEHA defines a “medical condition” as either a diagnosis or history of certain medically identifiable genetic characteristics. These genes or inherited traits are usually associated with an increased risk of contracting a disease. This is accepted even when symptoms of the said disease haven’t manifested themselves. In this case, if you are aware that you are part of a risk group for a particular disease, even when the disease is not manifesting, you may be covered under FEHA.
Protecting employees with mental health problems
Just like the previous categories mentioned above, the protection of employees with mental health issues is also important. This has gained relevance in recent times, with 40% of adults in the United States having reported experiencing mental health problems since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
If you have been unlawfully terminated because of a medical condition, disability, or mental health issue, you would be able to recover lost wages and be compensated for mental anguish under FEHA protections. In addition, in certain circumstances, you may be able to recover punitive damages from your employer if he or she acted egregiously.
Call Proxy Law Firm if you have been discriminated against or wrongfully terminated because of your medical condition or disability. We can help!