Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA
Short answer: The average disability discrimination settlement in California can range from approximately $25,000 – $500,000.
Settlements in less complex cases often settle for around approximately $100,000 or lower and complex cases can surpass approximately $1,000,000.
|Complexity of Case||Average California Disability Discrimination Settlement|
|Minor||Approximately: $25,000 – $100,000|
|Moderate||Approximately: $100,000 – $500,000|
|High||Approximately: $500,000 – $1,000,000+|
Below are some factors that specifically apply to employees filing a lawsuit related to disability discrimination:
Having competent legal representation is crucial. The choice of attorney, their experience in employment discrimination cases, and their ability to build a strong case can significantly impact the lawsuit’s outcome.
Filing a lawsuit within the prescribed time limits is essential. In California, for example, there are specific deadlines for filing employment discrimination claims, and failing to meet them can affect the case.
In many cases, employees must first exhaust administrative remedies by filing a complaint with relevant government agencies, such as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in California, before pursuing a lawsuit. Compliance with these prerequisites is a key factor.
Thorough documentation of the discrimination, including records of incidents, correspondence, and medical documentation, can strengthen an employee’s case.
If the employee has requested reasonable accommodations for their disability and was denied, the handling of these requests is a critical factor in the lawsuit.
Witnesses who can corroborate the employee’s claims can be influential in the case. Their willingness to testify can impact the strength of the lawsuit.
If the employee experienced adverse actions such as demotion, termination, or denial of promotions as a result of discrimination, these actions are central to the lawsuit.
The financial and career impact of the discrimination, including lost wages, benefits, and future earning potential, is a key factor in determining damages.
Employees are generally expected to make reasonable efforts to mitigate their losses, such as seeking alternative employment. How well these efforts are executed can be considered in the lawsuit.
If the employee faced retaliation for filing a complaint or lawsuit, this is an important factor that may result in additional claims.
*It’s important to note that each disability discrimination case is unique, and these factors interact in complex ways. Settlement amounts are ultimately negotiated by the parties involved, often with the guidance of legal professionals, to address the specific circumstances of the case.
Below are some of the types of compensation available for disability discrimination victims:
Economic damages cover tangible financial losses, including lost wages, benefits, and medical expenses resulting from the discrimination.
Non-economic damages encompass more intangible losses, such as compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In cases of particularly egregious discrimination, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter future misconduct.
Victims may be entitled to compensation for attorney’s fees and the legal costs incurred while pursuing their discrimination case.
Proving disability discrimination in the workplace involves demonstrating that an adverse employment action was taken based on an individual’s disability. Below are a few ways on how you might be able to establish a case for disability discrimination:
Begin by documenting your disability and any related medical records, diagnoses, or treatment histories. This establishes the existence of a disability.
Identify the specific discriminatory action taken against you, such as termination, demotion, or denial of reasonable accommodations. This is the central issue to address.
Establish a connection between the adverse action and your disability. Timing can be critical; if the adverse action closely follows your disclosure of the disability or a request for accommodation, it can indicate discrimination.
Show that you were treated differently from non-disabled employees in similar situations. Consistency in how the employer treats employees is essential.
If you requested reasonable accommodations, ensure there is documentation of the request and any response from your employer.
Gather witness testimonies from colleagues who can attest to the discriminatory behavior or any comments related to your disability.
Document how your employer responded to your complaint or concerns about discrimination. Their actions, or lack thereof, can be telling.
Seek legal advice from an experienced employment discrimination attorney who can help you navigate the legal requirements, gather evidence, and build a strong case.
Hiring a lawyer can be crucial to obtain a settlement in a disability discrimination case due to their expertise in navigating complex legal processes, gathering compelling evidence, and negotiating with employers.
Attorneys can assess the strength of your case, ensuring that all relevant factors are considered, and they understand the intricacies of disability discrimination laws. They can advocate for your rights, engage in settlement discussions on your behalf, and provide the necessary legal support to compel employers to take your claims seriously.
With a lawyer’s guidance, you significantly enhance your chances of securing a fair settlement that compensates you for the harm you’ve suffered due to discrimination.
Looking to file a disability discrimination claim? Contact LawLinq today to get connected with one of the best disability discrimination lawyers for your case.