Disability Discrimination Victory of $1,000,000 for a Deputy Fire Chief in San Diego and Associational Disability Discrimination Claim against California Trucking Company

As some of California’s leading attorneys, Stephen Danz & Associates are proud to represent hundreds of California residents spanning San Diego to Sacramento in their pursuit of justice against discrimination.  We start off this blog post by a report from our San Diego Employment Attorneys about an ex-deputy fire chief who sued the city for discrimination and won.  The plaintiff was a decorated firefighter who was wrongfully fired by the city after a remarkable 25 year career.  The Complaint alleged that the fire chief was fired by the city shortly after the city found out that he needed neck surgery.  The jury sided with the Plaintiff and granted him $1,000,000 in damages.

In another case showing associational disability discrimination, a California appeals court found that an employer’s denial of accommodation to a non-disabled employee may justify an associational disability discrimination claim under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).   The case was Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc.  The Plaintiff worked as a truck driver and notified his employer that he had a disabled son who needed dialysis daily.  As such, the Plaintiff requested a work schedule accommodation that would permit him the opportunity to administer dialysis to his son in the evenings.  The employer permitted him that schedule until a new supervisor took over.  The new supervisor changed the Plaintiff’s schedule so that he was not able to take care of his son’s dialysis.  When the Plaintiff informed his supervisor of his accommodation request, the supervisor laughed and said that he would be terminated if he cannot work the shifts that he assigned him.  When Plaintiff declined the shift, he was terminated.  See these other blogs for examples of associational discrimination in the workplace.

FEHA requires employers to render reasonable accommodation to employees and applicants based on their association with a disabled individual.  California has a long history of prohibiting discrimination through FEHA.  However, family and medical leave issues have typically been analyzed via its state California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  Our Los Angeles based employment law attorneys have been following these laws and cases closely and are prepared to bring the claims to court if warranted.  FEHA strictly prohibits discharging an individual from employment based on his or her physical disabilities or the perception that the individual is associated with another who has or is perceived to have disability characteristics.

If you believe that you, or another employee, suffered an employment law matter related to a discrimination in the workplace or associational disability discrimination (or retaliation), prompt action to preserve your rights is crucial.  Contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your circumstances and legal options.