It is against the law for any employer to discriminate against an individual due to medical conditions. Employers are to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with a medical condition unless it results in an undue hardship. Employees have the right to file medical discrimination claims if they believe they experienced unlawful discrimination.
California law prohibits an employer from refusing to hire a potential candidate because of their medical conditions. There is no tolerance for employment discrimination based on a medical condition. Doing so is a violation of California state and federal law.
Similarly, under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it is against the law for an employer to discriminate against an individual based on a medical condition.
Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act protects applicants and employees from employment discrimination related to either; medical needs, physical disabilities, or mental disabilities. The ADA and other employment anti-discrimination laws protect individuals who qualify. A qualified individual can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations.
California laws and the ADA protect employees with medical conditions from discrimination in the workplace. For example, it is a violation for an employer to treat an employee less favorably since they have a history of medical conditions or employers have the impression that said employee has a limiting medical condition.
The FEHA states that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an individual due to their medical condition. This prohibited conduct includes refusing to hire or employ, selecting a person for a training program, firing, bearing, or discharging an employee, or discriminating against a person in compensation or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
By law, employers evaluate job applicants without regard for their actual or perceived medical conditions. Employers are to offer reasonable accommodations to employees or applicants. The only exception is if it causes undue hardship for the employer. Undue hardships are anything from significant difficulty or expense.
All medical condition discrimination is unlawful in any aspect of employment. The discriminatory conduct includes refusing to offer reasonable accommodations, refusing to engage in a timely, good-faith interactive process with employees in need of reasonable accommodation, refusing to hire, or refusing to select for a training program. It also includes demotion, reduced pay, denial of a promotion, denial of reinstatement, denial of benefits, forcing an employee to quit, harassment, or assigning different duties.
All laws against discrimination against medical conditions also apply to perceived medical conditions or disabilities. Those with a particular medical condition may have no impairment or no limiting impairment. It is not a defense against discrimination if the employer is wrong about the individual’s actual situation.
A perfect example of this is if an employer refuses to give a job to a potential candidate with a perceived medical condition of HIV or AIDs. If the employer later finds out that the information was incorrect and the employee did not have any medical conditions, this may leave room for unlawful discrimination.
Genetic conditions are genes or chromosomes that usually indicate a high risk of cancer, heart disease, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Employers sometimes discriminate against an employee because they think they will need more medical time off or leave.
No. Employers cannot ask the applicant to take a medical or psychological exam if other prospective employees are not also doing so. Improper interview questions are a sign of potential medical condition discrimination violations. Any questions about someone’s general health, medical condition, mental disability, physical disability, or requirement of passing a psychological/medical examination of any applicant when not consistent with business is a violation.
Also, employers cannot ask an applicant to answer medical questions or take a medical exam before the job offer. Employers can only request an employee medical questions or require a medical exam if the employer believes the employee cannot perform a job successfully or safely because of a medical condition. The employer needs medical documentation to support the employee’s request for reasonable accommodation.
Reasonable accommodations are any measures that allow the employee or applicant to perform the essential job functions. The reasonable accommodation can include restructuring the job, modifying work schedules, part-time scheduling, reassignment to a vacant position, adjustments to training materials, providing readers or interpreters, modifying equipment, modifying work policies, or allowing a service dog to support the employee.
Every employer must provide reasonable accommodations to an employee with a medical condition unless it is an undue hardship. Employers consider several factors that make an undue hardship. It can consist of the nature and cost of the accommodations needed, the type of operations, and the geographic separateness, among other areas.
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