Wrongful Termination of Mental Disability

California Disability Discrimination Attorneys

In California, employers may not discriminate against an employee because of the employee’s mental disability. This means that it is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee because the employee has a mental disability.  Cal. Gov. Code § 12940(a). 

Under FEHA, mental disabilities, physical disabilities, and mental conditions are defined broadly and include both actual conditions and disabilities, and situations where an employer perceives that an employee has a disability or condition. Cal. Gov. Code § 12926.1(b). 

Our disability discrimination attorneys at Potter Handy, LLP are knowledgeable about employee rights in California, and we can help the victims of unlawful termination get their lives back on track. 

Is it wrong for your job to deny you time off?

Being mentally disabled gives you rights. You can ask for flexibility in how, when, and where you do your job. You can also ask to be treated the same as your co-workers.  

The organization has to listen to you because it has an obligation to “engage in the interactive process” with you. That means, once you tell your boss you’re disabled, the manager can’t sweep the matter under the rug. They are required to talk to you about your needs and how the company can accommodate you.  

Our attorneys can help you talk to your employer about what you need.  

How can I prove my boss harassed or discriminated against me because of my disability?

If you have witnesses and documents, it’s much easier to prove your case. However, if you don’t have these things, don’t feel discouraged.

To prove your case, you only need the judge or jury to believe that you or someone you were associated had a mental disability and that a substantial motivation for your firing, demotion, or harassment was due to your mental disability.

Our disability discrimination attorneys at Potter Handy, LLP have handled cases where someone has been discriminated and harassed because of their mental disability, but no one was around to see it and it wasn’t in writing.

If you believe that your employer wrongfully terminated you and violated your rights under the ADA, you may have the grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer.

All of the laws enforced by EEOC, except for the Equal Pay Act, require you to file a charge of discrimination before you can file a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer. The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces the ADA.

Damages Available to You If You Win

  • Back Pay – Wages, benefits, and out-of-pocket expenses. 
  • Emotional Distress – If the courts deem you suffered emotional distress after the termination, you may be entitled to more pay. 
  • Front Pay – Front pay will not apply if you are reinstated to the same job.  If you are unable to find a job for some time after your termination, front pay will compensate you for a specific period of time. 
  • Punitive Damages – Employer pays for damages from violating the law. 

We can help you fight for justice

Employers who fire a worker because the worker has a mental disability have broken the law. Their actions not only cost the worker a job but also may have caused the employee to suffer distress and mental anguish. 

If you have been fired from your job, and think it was related to your mental disability, call (415) 534-1911 or email us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.