What is Colitis?

Colitis is a digestive disease characterized by colon inflammation. Specifically, it is an inflammation of the mucus membrane that lines the colon. The disease is often characterized by abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea.

Treatment for colitis can include medication, steroids, and even surgery in the most severe cases. Some have also found that a change in diet, especially the reduction of carbohydrates, can significantly improve the symptoms of the disease.

Ways in Which You Might be Discriminated Against Because of Colitis
  • 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
How the Law Protects You if You Have Colitis

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

Under both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, colitis can render an individual disabled and deserving of protection from discrimination, as long as the colitis limits the sufferer's ability to work. Accordingly, an employer may not take any adverse action against an employee because of the employee's colitis. The employer also has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with colitis 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.

Colitis is also a medical condition, within the definition of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, deserving of protection from discrimination.

An employer may not take an adverse action (such as firing, refusing to hire, or failing to accommodate an employee's needs) on the basis of an employee's medical condition. An employer has an obligation to accommodate the employee by allowed him or her to attend medical appointments, receive treatment, and provide reasonable on-site accommodations for the condition.

Further Information