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Los Angeles Disability Attorney

California employees with disabilities have numerous rights and protections by law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act, California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the Disabled Persons Act all have statutes that outline how employers must provide for persons with disabilities in the workplace. If an employer discriminates against you because of your or even potential disability, you likely have the option to file a claim against him or her. Get help from the Los Angeles employment attorneys at The Law Office of Omid Nosrati, we can make the difference in the success of your disability claim in Los Angeles.

How our Disability Lawyers Can Help With Your Claim

Disability discrimination is a serious problem in California and the various laws on disability discrimination are very complex to navigate. An experienced employment law attorney can help. It is up to you as a person with disabilities to fight against discriminatory parties. The dedicated Los Angeles disability discrimination attorneys at The Law Office of Omid Nosrati can help. We pride ourselves on giving voices to those who otherwise wouldn’t speak out against discriminatory employers in Los Angeles. We fight hard so wronged employees don’t have to fight alone.

If you have a disability and have experienced any form of discrimination, harassment, or adverse employment actions because of your condition, you have a right to take legal action against the employer for damages. You could recover damages such as lost wages, lost employment opportunities, and emotional suffering and distress.

If so, we can help you take steps toward retribution, such as reporting the employer to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or filing a civil lawsuit in pursuit of damages.

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Types of Disability Discrimination

If you have a condition that California state law recognizes as a disability, you are part of a protected class. As such, you have the right to fair and equal treatment from employers. There is no excuse for an employer to treat someone less favorably because of a disability, family history of disability, or the belief that someone has a disability. Doing so is against the law, and can result in employer liability for damages. Some common examples of disability discrimination at work include:

  • Refusing to hire a job applicant because of a disability. The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against disabled job applicants.
  • Unlawfully treating a qualified applicant or employee less favorably than others because of a disability.
  • The refusal to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or applicant with a disability.
  • Asking about the nature or severity of a disability, as well as requesting medical records or non-routine medical/psychological exams.
  • Terminating a worker’s employment or breaking an employment agreement upon discovering a disability or becoming disabled.
  • Terminating an employee for taking disability-related medical leaves or sick days.
  • Retaliating against a person who files a claim regarding unlawful disability discrimination, or who requests a reasonable accommodation for a disability.
  • Failing to consider possible alternative employment for persons with disabilities during the application process.
  • Withdrawing job offers or giving negative references because an applicant has a disability.

If a disabled person cannot perform the duties required for the job position (“essential job functions”), the employer does not have to hire him or her. The same is true if there is another, more qualified applicant who does not have a disability. In addition, the employer may not be required to provide an accommodation if doing so would cause “undue hardship” on the employer. This “undue hardship” defense has many factors that a court must look at to see if the employer was correct in denying the accommodation. It is only discrimination if the employer takes adverse employment action against a person, and the person’s disability was a major factor in taking such action. Our lawyers can help you identify disability discrimination, and take action against perpetrators in Los Angeles by talking to an experienced discrimination attorney.

Can I Get Compensation and SSDI Benefits at the Same Time?

A workplace injury can result in permanent disability or prevent the victim from working in the same capacity ever again. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) exists to provide economic relief to individuals who suffer from disabling medical conditions, and workers’ compensation exists to provide benefits to people who suffer injuries at work. While every case is different, it is possible for an injured worker to receive both workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI benefits at the same time. However, several factors influence the amount of each the individual may receive.

Workers’ compensation benefits refer to a claimant’s income rate prior to his or her injury to determine an appropriate amount of benefits, and the type and severity of the injury will influence how long the employee will receive those benefits. The Social Security Administration will adjust SSDI benefits so that an injured employee receives no more than 80% of his or her previous income after combining his or her workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI benefits.

For example, John earns $5,000 per month at his job until he sustains a serious injury. He may only receive a total of $4,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI benefits combined. If the sum of his workers’ compensation benefits plus his SSDI benefits would exceed $4,000, then the Social Security Administration would reduce his SSDI payments to meet the requirement. Once his workers’ compensation benefits expire, his SSDI benefit payments would return to their normal rate. If John must change to a different job due to his injuries, then workers’ compensation benefits may continue even after he returns to work, and SSDI will adjust accordingly to keep him at the 80% rate.

It’s important for injured employees to remember that this 80% rule only applies to publicly funded workers’ compensation benefits, but not all types. If you receive benefits through a privately funded pension or insurance, they would not affect your SSDI benefits. Veterans’ Association benefits, Supplemental Security Income, and publicly funded benefits at the state and/or local level would not affect SSDI payments. Any benefits subject to the 80% rule may also fluctuate due to lump sum compensation payments or changes to the claimant’s workers’ compensation benefit rate.

Full and Partial Workers’ Compensation Benefits and SSDI

Some people who receive workers’ compensation benefits receive them for an extended time due to the time required to recover from an injury. If an injury prevents the employee from returning to his or her original position, then partial disability payments may continue after the employee returns to work to compensate him or her for the difference in pay. If the employee receives SSDI payments during this time, the Social Security Administration would reduce SSDI payments to ensure the combined benefits do not exceed 80% of the claimant’s original income. Once the employee’s benefits switch to the partial rate, his or her SSDI payments would increase so long as the combined total remained 80% of the employee’s original income.

Anyone who is confused about the workers’ compensation system or their eligibility for different benefits should seek legal representation to fully investigate their options. Some types of benefits will restrict an individual’s SSDI payments while others may not. An employee’s unique situation may also open other avenues of compensation, and an attorney can help navigate these as well. If there are any questions concerning combined benefits and which types of benefits influence SSDI payments, the workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of Omid Nosrati can help a claimant better understand his or her options and what to expect in the future.

Contact Our Los Angeles Disability Attorneys

One of the best ways to protect your rights is to seek help from an employment law firm. Call (310) 553-5630 or send in your contact information and we’ll get back to you to schedule a free case review.