Employers are regularly hit with disability discrimination lawsuits. When faced with disability discrimination claims, employers trust Payne & Fears to aggressively defend against such claims. For more than three decades, Payne & Fears has successfully represented employers in state and federal courts, in arbitration, and before governmental agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Civil Rights Department (CRD).

Representative Disability Discrimination Experience

Our representative disability discrimination experience includes the following successes:

  • Payne & Fears won a two-week jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court against a plaintiff claiming that his employer terminated his employment because of a known disability. The plaintiff also alleged that his employer harassed and retaliated against him. Payne & Fears successfully persuaded the jury that the plaintiff’s disability had nothing to do with the employer’s termination decision and that the employer was not liable for any alleged harassment and retaliation.
  • Payne & Fears successfully convinced an arbitrator to dismiss a plaintiff’s disability discrimination claim without proceeding through a trial. The plaintiff was a 17-year employee with years of positive performance evaluations. The plaintiff claimed that after she suffered an injury and became disabled, her employer allegedly began a campaign of discrimination based on her disability, which culminated when the employer terminated her employment. After the plaintiff filed her lawsuit in state court, Payne & Fears successfully obtained an order from the court compelling the plaintiff to pursue her claims in arbitration. Then, once the case was in arbitration, Payne & Fears filed a motion to dismiss the claims, arguing that the plaintiff’s procedural missteps foreclosed her claims. The arbitrator agreed with Payne & Fears, dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims, and awarded a complete victory to Payne & Fears’ client. 
  • Payne & Fears won summary judgment against a plaintiff’s disability discrimination claim in federal court. The plaintiff argued that her employer discriminated against her because of her disability by cutting her pay and demoting her. Payne & Fears argued to the court that the employer had legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for its employment decisions, and the court agreed. The court vacated the trial and dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims.
  • Payne & Fears achieved a significant victory on behalf of a national retail company by obtaining summary judgment against a former employee’s disability discrimination and wrongful termination claims. The former employee’s lawsuit advanced claims of disability discrimination, retaliation, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, failure to prevent discrimination, and wrongful termination, all stemming from allegations that the employee was terminated the day after allegedly reporting an on-the-job injury. The company denied these allegations and maintained that the employee actually was terminated for violating several company policies on the very same day he allegedly reported the injury. Although our employment attorneys had taken over the case from a previous law firm on the eve of discovery cutoff and with only 30 days left to file a dispositive motion, and despite several factual challenges, Payne & Fears nevertheless prevailed over the employee’s claims when the U.S. District Court issued a final ruling granting its motion for summary judgment in its entirety.

Payne & Fears’ disability discrimination litigation practice runs the gamut from single-plaintiff cases to class action lawsuits and other cases raising novel theories and posing the risk of substantial verdicts. With a book of clients representing a wide cross-section of industries, Payne & Fears regularly assists employers facing disability discrimination claims.