Looking for work while being disabled

It can be difficult for some California residents to obtain a job that pays enough to live on. However, it may be even more difficult for those who have a disability, even though employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation for disabled workers under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For example, a person who suffers a life-impacting injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, may be required to take months if not years off work in order to recover. When that person, who is now potentially disabled and may not be able to complete the same work he or she could before, attempts to look for a job, there will be gaps in his or her resume.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers must reasonably accommodate disabled workers unless the accommodations impose undue hardship on the employer. However, companies can struggle with determining what undue hardships actually are. Part of the problem is that many companies do not have plans or strategies in place to accommodate workers who become disabled, potentially causing them to make missteps. For example, some companies may request medical records or include required work tasks that are not pertinent to the job description, which could violate the ADA.

Discrimination in the workplace can prevent disabled individuals from being able to find employment or earn a fair income for the work that they do complete. If an employer failed to prove that it at least attempted to provide reasonable accommodations for a worker who became disabled, an employment law attorney could help file a lawsuit against the employer for discrimination.

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