California Employment Law
California Employment Law Questions Answered by Legal Experts
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First, let me say that I am terribly sorry to hear that you are in this situation. It is a shame when an employer makes a decision without legitimacy, especially when that decision is quite frankly wrong. As to what to do from here, you have a couple of options. If you were to ask for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, your employer would be required by law to enter into an "interactive discussion" with you concerning the plausibility of the accommodation. The law states that an employer must accommodate a known disability unless that accommodation would cause an "undue hardship" to the employer. If your employer takes any adverse employment action against you because of this request you would have a retaliation claim against the employer which would award you back pay, front pay, damages for emotional pain and suffering, as well as possible punitive damages. If the employer denies the accommodation, then you can ask them what they would think is reasonable. If they fail to have any conversation with them, then you would file a claim directly with the EEOC or DFEH. This can be done here:
They would do a full investigation and make sure that you get paid, the employer accommodates you, and most importantly, they undo any adverse employment action taken against you.
The other option is to take FMLA or CFRA leave (which guarantees you 12 weeks of unpaid leave) where you can collect SSI or other disability insurance guaranteed by the company.
During this time, you can look for alternate employment. If you are unable to find other employment, then you would be able to return to this job. If you are able, then you would move to the alternate position.
However, you mention that you do not have income to qualify for the normal base period. If you have not paid in enough through the entirety of you working, then asking for a reasonable accommodation is definitely the way to go.
So, in short, you will want to ask (in writing, either through email or a certified letter, return receipt) for a reasonable accommodation from your employer. The best thing to do would be to get together with your doctor to brainstorm what reasonable accommodations would be. This could be an alternate work schedule, frequent breaks, or possibly even working from home.
If you feel that there is no legitimate reasonable accommodation that could work for you, then you would want to take your FMLA leave and receive SDI. To determine if this is actually an option, you should go to the following site: http://www.edd.ca.gov/disability/FAQ_DI_Eligibility.htm
If any adverse employment action happens to you at all, you would want to file a complaint with the DFEH, or get an attorney involved for a retaliation complaint.
If you decide to hire an attorney a great resource is www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys willing to take your case prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with.
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Have a wonderful rest of your day.
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