Cartwright Law News
Personal Injury
Wrongful Death
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Products Liability
Employment Law
Nursing Home Abuse

DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION – HOLD EMPLOYERS RESPONSIBLE

An employer can now be held liable for disability discrimination even when it truly (but mistakenly) believes an employee cannot perform his or her duties.

In its recent decision in Wallace v. County of Stanislaus, the California 5th District Court of Appeal considered whether the County of Stanislaus could be held liable for disability discrimination when it placed a sheriff’s deputy on an unpaid leave of absence, based on the County’s mistaken belief the deputy was physically unable to perform his duties due to a disability.

In holding the County liable, the Court clarified that California law does not require an employee to show “ill will” where the employer takes action against an employee based on a mistaken belief as to the employee’s physical limitations. Rather, the Court made clear the cost of such a mistake should be borne by the employer, not the employee, regardless of the employer’s intent. This decision clarifies the responsibilities of an employer in evaluating a disabled employee’s ability to perform essential job functions, yet it further highlights that employees must be vigilant when interacting with an employer regarding disability accommodations-as well as the essential role legal counsel can play to ensure an employer’s compliance with their legal duties.

Our Office Locations
San Francisco Office

222 Front Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415-433-0444

Fax: 415-433-0449

Go To Map
Vacaville Office

419 Mason Street, Suite 207
Vacaville, CA 95688

Phone: 707-901-3020

Fax: 415-433-0449

Go To Map
Discovery Bay Office

2465 Discovery Bay Blvd.,
Suite 300 Discovery Bay, CA 94505

Phone: 925-265-4009

Fax: 415-433-0449

Go To Map
Santa Rosa Office

703 2nd Street, Suite 119
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Phone: 707-266-7540

Fax: 415-433-0449

Go To Map