Legal Question in Discrimination Law in Washington

Celiac disease and discrimination in the workplace

I have Celiac disease which is totally controlled by diet. The reason I am given at work for not being offered a full time position is that I may get sick. this does not happen. Am I protected under the ADA?

Asked on 3/03/09, 2:47 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Susan Beecher Susan L. Beecher, Atty at Law

Re: Celiac disease and discrimination in the workplace

You are probably not protected under the ADA, but you probably ARE protected under the Washington Law Against Discrimination, if your employer has eight or more employees. Under the ADA, you must be much more severely disabled (one or more of your basic life activities must be restricted). The WLAD defines disability as a sensory, mental or physical impairment that is medically cognizable or diagnosable, or that exists as a matter of record, or that is perceived to exist whether it exists or not. Impairment includes any physiological disorder or condition of a long list of body systems. The full definition can be found in RCW 49.60.040.

I don't know much about your medical condition, but I would guess that you are covered and your employer's statement that you would be given full time work but for your illness is the proverbial smoking gun.

You may want to speak with an attorney about the best way to get your employer gently turned in the right direction. Since you want to keep working there and want a postive working environment, it is best if this can be handled without legal action. (Your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for pressing for your rights on this matter, but sometimes they do, anyway, and this will create additional problems for you.)

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Answered on 3/03/09, 4:39 pm

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