California workers with disabilities have clear rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and additional protection is provided by the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Sadly, some employers are ignorant of these laws, or they disregard the needs of workers with physical limitations. Fortunately, such employers can be held accountable for wrongful termination and discrimination.
A 29-year-old barber was recently awarded $100,000 by the Commission Against Discrimination in another state. The case arose from a wrongful termination claim that was filed by the worker against his former employer. The man reportedly suffers a hereditary condition that has caused him to be declared legally blind. The condition is called retinitis pigments, and although his peripheral vision is affected by it, he contends it does not compromise his ability to perform his profession.
According to the complaint, after being employed at a barber shop for a year, the worker tripped over something on two occasions on one day in 2012. Following this, he claimed his employment was terminated. The barber further claimed to have been unable to secure employment for four years following his dismissal. This led to the foreclosure of his condo, and the need for him to apply for charities and food stamps to support his family.
It is illegal for employers in California to base dismissals on disability, race, age, sex, pregnancy or any other status that is protected. It is the right of any worker to retain the services of a legal representative to assess wrongful termination allegations to determine whether a viable claim exists. An experienced employment law attorney can examine employee records, obtain witness testimony and scrutinize the timing of events to obtain the evidence necessary to work on presenting a successful wrongful termination claim.
Source: people.com, “Legally Blind Boston Barber Awarded $100K for Wrongful Termination“, Alex Heigl, Nov. 9, 2015