Practice Areas
Disability Discrimination

San Francisco Disability Discrimination Lawyers

The disability discrimination attorneys at Minnis & Smallets help employees who have been subjected to discrimination because of their physical or mental disabilities.

Employees with physical or mental disabilities often face discrimination in hiring and in their work environment, including their employer refusing to accommodate their disability. When employees are fired, denied reasonable accommodations, or subjected to other forms of discrimination because of a disability, the disability discrimination lawyers at Minnis & Smallets can help.

Which employees are considered to be disabled?

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protect employees with disabilities. Employees are considered disabled if their physical or mental conditions limit their ability to work or to perform other major life activities. The impairment of a major bodily function is also classified as a disability. Protected disabilities include:

  • HIV/AIDs, heart disease, diabetes, hepatitis, and other chronic conditions
  • Neurological impairments, such as epilepsy and severe migraine headaches
  • Cancer, genetic conditions, and other serious long-term illnesses
  • Major depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric conditions
  • Paralysis or other spinal disorders
  • Dysfunctional or amputated limbs
  • Vision or hearing impairments
  • Learning and cognitive disabilities
  • Other physical or mental conditions that limit the performance of a major life activity

Individuals who are perceived as having a disability are also protected by discrimination laws, even if the perception is incorrect. An employee who is associated with another disabled person, such as a son, daughter, spouse or another family member, may also be protected against discrimination.

What legal protections are disabled employees entitled to?

The FEHA and the ADA provide disabled individuals who are qualified to do a job with important protections against adverse actions taken against them by their employer because of their disability, including prohibiting employers from:

  • Refusing to hire an employee because of a disability
  • Terminating an employee because of a disability
  • Imposing less favorable working conditions on an employee because of a disability
  • Refusing a request for reasonable accommodation of a disability
  • Retaliating against an individual for making, assisting, or investigating a claim of disability discrimination

Individuals who help an employee make a disability claim – by testifying, giving a statement, cooperating with an investigation, or providing other kinds of assistance – are also protected from retaliation, even if the disability claim is found to lack merit.

What reasonable accommodations are disabled employees entitled to?

Upon request, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for their disabled employees. An accommodation is a modification of the job or work environment, including a leave of absence, that gives the disabled employee a fair opportunity to perform the job successfully. Employers are not necessarily required to provide the requested accommodation, but they must provide some kind of reasonable accommodation if one is available. An employer cannot retaliate against an employee who requests an accommodation.

The law generally regards an accommodation as reasonable if the employer can provide it without undue hardship. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include: granting a leave of absence, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices that allow the employee to perform the job, or a job transfer or reassignment to a vacant position.

Where can I get legal help?

At Minnis & Smallets, our lawyers have successfully represented and protected the legal rights of many executives, professionals, and employees who have been discriminated against or terminated because of their disabilities or requests for accommodation.

Please call our disability discrimination lawyers at 1-415-551-0885 or use our contact form to learn more about your rights. Since the time for filing a claim is limited, you should call immediately to avoid losing your right to pursue a remedy.


If you are looking for advice or representation, please contact us today using the form below and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.

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