Many disability discrimination and wrongful termination cases involve a workers compensation claim. One mistake that a wrongful termination claimant should avoid is exaggerating his/her disability when dealing with his workers comp doctors. Stating to the doctor that you are completely unable to work with or without accommodations as a result of your work related injury might increase your workers comp benefits, but it can also “kill” your wrongful termination case, if that case is based on failure to accommodate or failure by your employer to provide reasonable accommodations to you in violation of FEHA and ADA. This is because you can’t claim on one hand that the employer didn’t accommodate you and discriminated against you because of your disability or medical condition, and on the other hand be so incapacitated that no accommodation would be feasible that would allow you to return to work. Remember – an employer doesn’t have to accommodate you if there is no reasonable accommodation available to your condition, given your essential job duties.
You should of course always be truthful about your physical limitations and your ability or inability to perform some or all of your job duties. Your attorney should be able to guide you through the interplay between your workers comp claim and your wrongful termination / disability discrimination case and find the best strategy for both of your cases that would allow you to maximize the benefit from both of your cases without letting your workers comp claim interfere with your ADA / FEHA court claims.