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Employment discrimination laws include mental disabilities

When you hear of disability discrimination in the workplace, you may think of people who are deaf or in wheelchairs. However, California law covers more than just physical issues. It also includes mental disabilities.

Understanding your protections can help you determine if your employer is discriminating against you because of a mental disability, in which case you need to speak to a lawyer.

The definition of a disability

Disabilities come in a range of manifestations, and some are not visible or readily noticeable. However, less apparent examples still deserve the same legal protections. Therefore, California law states that any physical, mental or medical condition that inhibits your ability to perform a significant life activity qualifies as a disability.

Less familiar types include learning problems, chronic depression and bipolar disorder. The law does not cover those with addictions, neurotic impulses or sexual behavior disorders.

Employment regulations

When you apply for a job, your potential employer cannot ask about any disabilities, but only about your ability to complete the tasks the job requires. Neither can a hiring manager make you submit to any test that other applicants do not have to take. If the business hires you, it must reasonably accommodate your needs.

Examples of discrimination

To fight against discrimination, you must be able to recognize it. Examples of common discriminatory behaviors include:

  • Harassment of any kind
  • Mandates to take a medical or psychological exam
  • Failure to award you with a deserved promotion or pay raise
  • Undue termination
  • Not providing reasonable accommodation

It can be hard to prove that the actions were a result of your mental disability and not another reason. Therefore, it is important that you hire legal representation to help you determine if you have a case. An attorney can review your situation and offer guidance on how to document and react to discrimination. The sooner you seek assistance from a lawyer, the better chances you have of building a strong case against your employer.

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