According to the CDC, 1 out of every 4 adults in California (over 6.7 million people) lives with a disability. Living with a disability can make one vulnerable to poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and abuse.
Thankfully, California has laws in place to protect the legal rights of persons with disabilities. Both federal disability laws and California state disability laws are vital to protecting our neighbors from disability harassment. This guide provides an overview of California’s disability laws to help you protect your rights and seek help when necessary.
Disability Laws at the Federal Level
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The ADA is a set of laws that provides protection from discrimination for millions of Americans with disabilities. This act largely covers disability discrimination in the workplace, requiring proper accommodations for those with disabilities to ensure that they can live a reasonably productive life like anyone else.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act is another federal law that makes it illegal to discriminate against disabled people who are trying to rent or buy properties. It also requires building and facility owners to allow for reasonable exceptions and accommodations to provide equal opportunities to those with disabilities.
The Rehabilitation Act prohibits all discrimination based on disability in any federally conducted or funded programs, as well as against federal contractors. It’s in place to clarify that federal operations and employees are bound by the same prohibitions on medical condition discrimination as private businesses and facilities.
Disability Laws Specific to California
Unruh Civil Rights Act
The Unruh Act is specific to California and expands the protections provided by other federal laws, prohibiting discrimination based on disability in any and all business dealings in the state. This includes providing services, hiring, housing, and public accommodations. The state’s Civil Code Sections 54-55.2 specifically grant people with disabilities the same rights as other people to use streets, public spaces, walkways, medical facilities, and other public facilities.
FEHA – Fair Employment and Housing Act
FEHA strengthens the protections allowed under the Fair Housing Act and protects against discrimination based on any mental or physical disability. The key to this law is that it expands the definition of what counts as a disability past physical conditions.
Disability Discrimination Is Inexcusable
If you’re the victim of discrimination based on your disability, you have options. The law is on your side, and you can get a resolution to your case. In some situations, this is simply a ruling that you are entitled to the services you’ve been denied. In other situations, you can seek monetary compensation for your suffering, which could even include punitive damages.
Protect Your Rights With Dr. Bill on Your Side
If you’ve been unfairly denied disability benefits, you’ll need help from an experienced California disability lawyer. Having dedicated his practice to disability law, Dr. Bill LaTour knows which laws apply to your situation, the legal theories necessary to pursue your case, and the damages to pursue.
We’ve been helping disabled individuals in the Greater Los Angeles area, the Inland Empire, and Orange County get the disability benefits they need for years. If you’re seeking disability benefits in California, call Dr. Bill LaTour and his team today or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.