Employee Rights No Fees Unless We Win
Wrongful Termination Due To Mental Disability
Employment is “at will” in California. Generally, this means that your employer can terminate you at any time and for any reason, and conversely, you can quit whenever you want. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Your employer cannot terminate you in violation of a law, a contract, or public policy. If you believe that you received a wrongful termination due to a mental disability, you should consult the wrongful termination lawyers at the Kokozian Law Firm.Wrongful Termination Due to a Mental Disability
If you were terminated due to your mental disability or because you asked for a reasonable accommodation for your mental disability, you may have grounds to sue for wrongful termination. Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination against an employee due to his or her mental disability. The federal law that prohibits disability discrimination is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, in most cases, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) defines a disability more broadly and provides greater protection to employees with disabilities than the federal law does. Under both laws, your employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation to you if you have a disability, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship.
Moreover, your employer is not allowed to terminate you based on your request for a reasonable accommodation, or because you disclosed that you have a mental disability, or in retaliation because you complained of hostile work environment harassment based on your mental disability.
California permits claims for constructive discharge. You can sue your employer for wrongful termination if your employer makes your working conditions so intolerable that you do not have any choice but to resign. These claims can be challenging to establish, and it is important to consult an experienced employment attorney.The Fair Employment and Housing Act
FEHA covers you if you work for an employer with at least five employees in California. Under FEHA, even out-of-state employees and employees on paid or unpaid leave are included as employees. FEHA prohibits discrimination against employees with mental disabilities, along with those with physical disabilities. It also protects you if you have a history or record of a mental disability, or if you have a perceived mental disability.
Your employer is not permitted to terminate you because of a mental disability or because you requested a reasonable accommodation for your mental disability. However, in most cases, an employer will not provide you with a straight answer about why you are being terminated, or tell you that the termination is due to a disability. In some cases, the timing of the termination may be suspicious; if you are fired on the day after you disclosed your mental disability to seek an accommodation, for example, this may tend to show that the termination was based on your mental disability.What is a Mental Disability?
FEHA defines a mental disability as any psychological or mental condition or disorder that restricts a major life activity or mandates special education. Examples of mental disabilities include intellectual or cognitive disabilities and emotional or psychiatric illnesses, along with learning disabilities. However, substance abuse disorders arising out of the illegal use of controlled substances are not protected under FEHA’s definition of a mental disability. Reasonable accommodations for mental disabilities include modifications to examinations or policies, restructuring of a job, modifications to a work schedule, or more frequent rest breaks.Damages
If we can establish wrongful termination due to a mental disability, we can recover monetary damages on your behalf. These could include back pay, front pay, lost benefits, emotional distress, loss of professional reputation, attorneys’ fees, and punitive damages. In some cases, it may be appropriate to seek equitable relief, such as reinstatement.Consult a Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you believe that you were fired due to a disability, you should talk to a seasoned disability discrimination attorney about your circumstances. At the Kokozian Law Firm, our attorneys talk to our clients with compassion but pursue their claims aggressively. We represent people throughout Los Angeles County and elsewhere in California. Call us at 323.857.5900 or contact us via our online form.