Coyle Browne Law

Disability discrimination

What is disability discrimination?

Disability discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee differently because of their disability or medical condition. To prove a disability discrimination claim, the employee must show that the employer took an adverse employment action. Adverse employment actions include being laid off, terminated, or demoted. Our firm has taken on many of these cases. Our results and previous cases pages show some of these cases.

What qualifies as a disability

A lot of conditions can qualify as a disability. As a starting point, a disability discrimination claim can be based on a mental or physical disability. A disability discrimination claim can even be based on being perceived as disabled.

Mental disabilities include but are not limited to having any mental or psychological disorder or condition that limits a major life activity. “Mental disability” includes, but is not limited to, emotional or mental illness, intellectual or cognitive disability (formerly referred to as “mental retardation”), organic brain syndrome, or specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and chronic or episodic conditions such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, § 11065

Physical disabilities include but are not limited to having any anatomical loss, cosmetic disfigurement, physiological disease, disorder or condition that affects one or more of the following body systems: neurological; immunological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; circulatory; skin; and endocrine. “Disability” includes, but is not limited to, deafness, blindness, partially or completely missing limbs, mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair, cerebral palsy, and chronic or episodic conditions such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, epilepsy, seizure disorder, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and heart and circulatory disease. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, § 11065

What medical conditions are not disabilities

“Disability” does not include: (A) excluded conditions listed in the Government Code section 12926 definitions of mental and physical disability. These conditions are compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, or psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from the current unlawful use of controlled substances or other drugs, and “sexual behavior disorders,” as defined at section 11065(q), of this article; or (B) conditions that are mild, which do not limit a major life activity, as determined on a case-by-case basis. These excluded conditions have little or no residual effects, such as the common cold; seasonal or common influenza; minor cuts, sprains, muscle aches, soreness, bruises, or abrasions; non-migraine headaches, and minor and non-chronic gastrointestinal disorders. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, § 11065

How Browne Employment Lawyers’s disability discrimination lawyers can help

If you have been discriminated against because of your disability, Browne Employment Lawyers is available for free consultations to investigate and determine whether we can offer to represent you. To begin this process, please contact us by calling 800-421-2594 or emailing

While not required for an initial consultation, it is helpful to prepare in advance:

The specific facts and any records about the incident(s), including the name and contact information of the person or entity you believe harmed you (if known);

The names and contact information of any witnesses (if known); and

Copies of any documents or other evidence related to your situation.

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Free consultation by a lawyer. If we can take your case, there are no up front costs or fees.

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