WHAT IS LUPUS?
Lupus is a rare form of tuberculosis of the skin. It is often characterized by brown ulcerous lesions on the skin. This disease often results in these ulcerous lesions being spread over the body. The disease attacks the body's otherwise healthy tissues, and it generally affects women more often than men.
Most sufferers experience dermatological symptoms, but the disease can also affect the heart, blood, lungs, and even the brain. Severe sufferers might experience intense seizures as well. There is no known cure for the disease, and treatment is limited to treating the various symptoms, often through steroid drug therapy.
WAYS IN WHICH YOU MIGHT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE OF LUPUS
- 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 LUPUS
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 disability discrimination. Lupus can render an individual disabled, deserving of protection from discrimination, as long as the disease limits the individual's ability to work. Accordingly, an employer may not take any adverse action against an employee because of the employee's lupus. The employer also has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with lupus 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, if an employee is going through a period of flared symptoms due to lupus and needs to attend doctor appointments, an employer has an obligation to so accommodate the employee, unless doing so would unduly burden the employer.
Lupus 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.
- For Legal Help see Finding an Attorney and David H. Greenberg, California Employment Law Attorney.