The Los Angeles employment law attorney at the Leichter Law Firm, APC, Aryeh Leichter, knows that being disabled in the California workplace presents numerous challenges despite progressive legal protections.

Individuals with disabilities often face physical and environmental barriers that require reasonable accommodations, which employers may be reluctant or slow to provide.

Additionally, there can be pervasive misconceptions and biases about disabilities, leading to subtle or overt discrimination, harassment, and social isolation. The fear of retaliation for requesting accommodations or reporting discrimination further complicates the situation, creating a stressful and precarious work environment.

Balancing the demands of the job while managing health needs and advocating for one’s rights requires resilience and persistent self-advocacy, making the experience particularly challenging for disabled employees.

Dealing with workplace harassment related to disability in California requires a strategic and informed approach to ensure your rights are protected, and the harassment is effectively addressed. Here are some strategies to help you navigate this challenging situation.

Dealing with Workplace Harassment Related to Disability

Know Your Rights as a Disabled California Employee

Understanding the rights afforded to disabled employees in California ensures they receive fair treatment and the accommodations they are legally entitled to.

That begins with familiarizing yourself with the protections under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These laws prohibit disability-based harassment and ensure your right to a harassment-free workplace.

The next steps to ensure your workplace rights are protected include:

  • Request Reasonable Accommodations

If the harassment is related to your disability, request reasonable accommodations that can help mitigate the situation. This might include changes in your work environment or duties to reduce exposure to the harasser.

  • Document Everything

Keep detailed records of all incidents of harassment, including dates, times, locations, what was said or done, and any witnesses. Documentation is crucial for building a solid case if you need to file a complaint.

  • Report the Harassment

Follow your company’s procedures for reporting harassment. Inform your supervisor, HR department, or any designated personnel about the harassment. Provide them with your detailed documentation.

  • Understand the Investigation Process

Be aware of how your employer is supposed to handle harassment complaints. They are required to conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation. Cooperate fully and provide any requested information.

  • Follow Up

After reporting the harassment, follow up with HR or the relevant department to ensure your complaint is taken seriously and addressed. Keep a record of these follow-up communications.

  • Consider Filing a Formal Complaint

If your employer does not adequately address the harassment, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These agencies can investigate and potentially take action against your employer.

  • Take Care of Your Well-Being

Dealing with harassment can be stressful and emotionally draining. Ensure you take care of your mental and physical health. Seek professional help if needed to cope with the stress and anxiety.

Contact support groups, employee assistance programs, or disability advocacy organizations for guidance and emotional support. Talking to others who have faced similar challenges can provide valuable insights and encouragement.

By utilizing these strategies, you can effectively address and combat workplace harassment related to disability, upholding your rights and fostering a safer, more inclusive work environment.

Are You Being Discriminated Against or Harassed for Having a Disability in the California Workplace?

If the harassment persists or you face retaliation for your disability in the California workplace, contact Aryeh Leichter, the Leichter Law Firm, APC founder, and disability discrimination attorney in Los Angeles County, today to discuss the legal remedies that may be available for your unique workplace circumstances, starting with a free consultation by calling (818)-915-6624 or contacting the firm online.

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