Hemophilia

WHAT IS HEMOPHILIA?

Hemophilia is a hereditary and genetic illness impairing the body's ability to control bleeding. Genetic deficiencies and an autoimmune disorder may cause lowered plasma clotting; as a result, when a blood vessel is injured, a scab does not form, and the vessel often continues to bleed for excessive periods of time. The bleeding can be external, such as when the skin is broken by a scrape or an abrasion, or it can be internal, causing bleeding in muscles, joints or organs.

Treatments can increase blood's ability to clot, but there is no known cure for hemophilia. The best cure for hemophilia includes regular injections of a blood clotting antibody. An individual with hemophilia, in order to best combat the disease, will likely need receive these injections regularly.

WAYS IN WHICH YOU MIGHT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE OF HEMOPHILIA

  • Your employer does not allow you to miss work for medical appointments
  • Your employer does not accommodate your need to take a reasonable amount of time off of work
  • Your employer will not provide reasonable on-site accommodations for your disability
  • Your employer will not allow you to miss work in order to receive injections to treat your hemophilia.

HOW THE LAW PROTECTS YOU IF YOU HAVE HEMOPHILIA

To state a cause of action for disability discrimination, an employee must be disabled, regarded as disabled, or have a record of being disabled. The employee must then show that:

  • his or her disability results in physical limitations
  • that he or she can still perform the essential functions of the job (with or without reasonable accommodations)
  • and that the employer took some adverse action (such as not hiring, firing, or demoting the employee) on the basis of that disability

Both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act provide protection against discrimination on the basis of disability. Hemophilia is a disability, deserving of protection from discrimination, assuming the hemophilia limits the individual's ability to work. Accordingly, an employer may not take any adverse action against an employee because of the employee's hemophilia. The employer also has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with hemophilia so as to allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. The law will protect an employee whose employer does not provide these necessary accommodations. For example, an individual with hemophilia will likely need to miss work in order to receive injections. Accordingly, the employer must provide reasonable accommodation to the employee, unless doing so would unduly burden the employer.

Further Information