Entering the workplace can be more difficult if you have a disability or a medical condition. Your employer has a legal responsibility to ensure that you receive the necessary accommodations. However, it can be difficult to know whether your condition counts as a disability.
According to the California Department of Justice, there are two broad categories of disabilities. These are mental and physical.
What are mental disabilities?
This category covers a broad range of conditions, including learning disabilities and mental illnesses. Qualifying conditions could be anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, for example. Down syndrome and autism also fall into this category. One key detail is that a qualifying mental disability needs to have a significant impact on your life. It can either cause or have the potential to cause impairment.
What are physical disabilities?
Physical disabilities cover several conditions that might affect your ability to work. Neurological and respiratory conditions fall into this category. A physical disability can also affect your reproductive, musculoskeletal, or cardiovascular systems. Typically, these conditions need to limit your ability to do certain tasks if you do not have the proper medications or accommodations.
Who has to provide accommodations?
Every single company in California has to ensure that you receive the necessary provisions. The Fair Employment and Housing Act covers both large companies and those with as few as five workers. Your employer cannot use the size of the company as a reason to deny you accommodations.
Additionally, your potential employers have to meet your needs during the hiring process. If you need a wheelchair accessible room, for example, people have to make sure that they select an appropriate space.
As you seek accommodations, it can help to have paperwork about your condition. Many employers may need to know that you have a documented history of your disability.