Military Vet’s Concussion Syndrome and Possible Autoimmune Disorder Were Enough for His Disability Discrimination Case, CA Appeals Court Says

When your employer has fired you, or has implicitly forced you out, based upon your disability or perceived disability, it is undeniably an incredibly difficult time for you. You may be uncertain about what to do. You may be uncertain about where to turn. If you’re in this challenging position, one of your first steps should be to protect your legal rights by contacting an experienced Oakland employment attorney.

C.R. was an employee who faced that type of circumstance in his case. C.R. was a deputy district attorney for a county in Southern California. In 2013, he began exhibiting symptoms of a serious neurological problem. The attorney asked his supervisor to transfer him to a different assignment, but the supervisor declined. He later asked not to be assigned any new cases while he was undergoing testing, but that request was also initially refused.

The attorney’s doctors concluded that he had a concussion syndrome related to his past military service and also suspected he had an autoimmune disorder. The employer asked for written documentation from the lawyer’s medical providers clinic, but the attorney didn’t provide it because the clinic he used “had a practice of not supplying such documentation.” When the paperwork did not come, the employer at first refused to engage in a good-faith interactive process.

The attorney eventually left his job. According to him, the job had become so untenable that he was “constructively terminated.” (Constructive termination means that your work environment has become so hostile and harmful that any reasonable person would feel that his only choice was to leave the job.)

Either an actual disability or an employer who perceives to be disabled is enough

The attorney sued the county for disability discrimination. When you pursue a disability discrimination case, you need proof of several things. One of those things is that you had a valid disability or that your employer perceived you to be disabled. This disability can be permanent or short-term.

C.R. had that proof in his lawsuit. He had evidence that “was being tested at an out-of-state clinic for a potentially disabling neurological disease or autoimmune disorder. The testing occurred over several months, requiring him to periodically take time off work to travel to the clinic.” So, he had proof of a potential disability and a need for an accommodation. This evidence, if a jury found it credible, could be sufficient to show that C.R. had a short-term impairment that was disabling or that the county perceived as potentially disabling.

That was all the attorney needed to have a viable disability discrimination lawsuit and to get his day in court.

Disability discrimination, especially when it has forced out of a job, is undeniably stressful. As you navigate the personal challenges that come with this time of transition, leave the legal challenges to the professionals. Contact the knowledgeable Oakland employment attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen M. Fuerch. We have been helping clients for more than 30 years and have helped many people harmed by employment discrimination. We’re ready to discuss your situation with you. To learn more about what assistance we can provide, contact us through our website or call our office at (925) 463-1073 to schedule your confidential initial consultation today.