Thank you so much for consolidating your questions.
I think the most important thing to understand are the protections afforded to individuals with disabilitating MS. Specifically, the Americans with Disabilities Act provides certain rights and protections to individuals with "qualifying disabilities." A qualifying disability is a disability that "impairs a major life function," as MS can certainly be. For more information on what constitutes a disability under the ADA, visit this link: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/902cm.html
For more information on the ADA in general, visit this link: http://www.ada.gov/q&aeng02.htm
If a person is “disabled” pursuant to the ADA's definition set forth above and is having difficulty performing his/her job and the employer knows that the reason for the difficulty is the employee’s disability, then the employer may have a duty to reasonably accommodate the employee, as long as it will not pose an undue burden on the employer to do so. In determining whether a reasonable accommodation is available, and would actually work in helping the employee do his/her job, both the employer and employee had required to talk to each other and consider each other’s ideas. An employer's failure to engage in this type of "interactive process" may constitute a violation of the law. Furthermore, your employer would be prohibited from treating you differently purely as a result of you having a disability.
Thus, I think the answer to your question: "should I have been offered a leave even if the dept only had one person in it" depends upon whether that accommodation would have been reasonable under the circumstances. Your questions (1) "why am I not being paid for work I do in the dept the co-workers are being paid for"; and (2) ""Can they make me work a day that I have been unavailable for 24 years" would turn upon whether your disability was a motivating factor for the employer's treatment of you. If it was, it would qualify as actionable discrimination.
If you believe that you have been the subject of unlawful discrimination and wish to file a lawsuit, you must first file a formal complaint of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Either the EEOC or the DFEH will issue you an authorization to sue after they investigate your claim. You don't need to file with both agencies. Finally, if you decide to sue, don't miss your deadline. Under federal law in California, you have 300 days from an act of discrimination to file a complaint.
For information on how to bring a claim through California's DFEH, visit this link: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints.htm For information on how to brig a claim through the EEOC, visit this link: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm
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