Disability discrimination and pretext for termination

Looking for advice on a disability discrimination complaint/wrongful termination. As a senior manager, i worked for a large consulting firm in CA (significant federal contracting). I have a long history of back problems and probably "qualified" under ADA. I was layed off less than 2 weeks after I told my VP I couldn't continue working due to chronic pain. VP acted wiered in that he totally ignored my complaints and had me finish a critical assignment, after which I took three days off. Reason for termination was given as a RIF, despite recent reassurances job was safe. Also told company had looked for other openings to place me. I immediately filed a workers comp claim that pre-dated my offical last day. Its already been approved by firm's insurance carrier. Been on disability 3 months. Prior to filing complant with FEHA & OFCCP planned on asking corporate EEO Officer to do an internal investigation. With firm 13 months. Other than disabilty and reasonable accomadation requests I was a solid contributer with no complaints. Recieved company awards, etc. The whole process smells bad, but there's a good chance there was no mixed motivation. What should I do? Thanks.

2 answers  |  asked Aug 23, 2003 11:33 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (2)

Joan Herrington
Disability Discrimination

You should avoid federal court and proceed based on state law protections. Eg, FEHA rather than ADA, CFRA rather than FMLA. You can check out the law I cited in my previous response at www.findlaw.com. I urge you to consult an attorney as soon as possible taking with you a 1-2 page timeline starting with the last adverse employment action (RIF?) and working backwards. A key RIF case in California is Ewing v. Gill Industries, Inc., (1992) 3 Cal.App.4th 601, 4 Cal.Rptr.2d 640. You could also use www.findlaw.com to track down this case. See http://login.findlaw.com/scripts/callaw?dest=ca/caapp4th/3/601.html

posted by Joan Herrington  |  Aug 25, 2003 1:56 PM [EST]
Joan Herrington
Disability Discrimination

I cannot give advice without knowing more about the timeline and the scope of the RIF. However, if you were given assurances of job security just prior to requesting leave/accommodation, then Employer may well have violated Labor Code 132(a) (discrimination for filing Worker's compensation claim; Gov Code 12940(a)(discrimination), (k)(failure to take steps to prevent discrimination), (m) (failure to reasonably accommodate disability) & (n) (failure to engage in interactive consultation) and Gov. Code 12945.2(l) (retaliation for applying for medical leave).

posted by Joan Herrington  |  Aug 25, 2003 1:48 PM [EST]

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