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But if the basis for all this treatment was that he mocked sign language to me in front of other people, and I told him to stop, and he didn't (witnesses heard/saw him do it 2 more times) isn't that discrimination/abuse for a "disability"? Doesn't that fall under the same protected classes such as age and religion? I am not legally deaf, but told him day one of his starting to work in my unit that I was a little hard of hearing and if he ever felt ignored if he called to me from across the room, to know that all he had to do was ping or approach me versus asking for my attention 15 feet away because I can't hear anything coming from behind me.
It seems like I can't do anything about retaliation or being a jerk, but what set this all off was verbal harassment over disability. Just to confirm, is there no recourse under any type of filing since emotional distress seems to be so difficult to prove in the courts as you state?
I totally get it on the other info you've provided and will be Very careful with the workman's comp claim. I am filing for medical expenses only, not temp disability.
Thanks for replying one more time so I can rate to finish. Kind Regards, ee
Joel,Thank you very much for your reply. It's my pleasure to answer any followup questions you may have so please feel free to reply again if anything remains at all unclear.Yes, physical disability is a protected trait under CA and federal law, which means a hostile work environment claim or discrimination claim can theoretically be premised on disability. However, in order for a "disability" to be legally recognized under the law, it must constitute a condition which "significantly impairs a major life function."The is not a low threshold, and unless your hearing impairment is significant (i.e. requires the use of a hearing aid or other hearing device for the hearing impaired) is unlikely to trigger protection under the law.By all means if you feel as though your hearing impairment rises to this level and you can link it to the treatment you experienced (which it seems you can), then you may have a claim on this basis.To pursue it, you'd want to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment & Housing here: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints.htm Otherwise, however, your recourse will be limited to the avenues I have described above.Again, please feel free to let me know if I can provide any further clarification. It will be my pleasure to do so if necessary.
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