It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee or applicant due to a disability, health condition or perceived disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is the law that prohibits disability discrimination in the workplace, with companies that have 15 or more employees.
The employer cannot show bias when it comes to hiring, firing, wages, benefits, promotions or level of position with regard to the employee’s disability or health condition.
In addition, the law says that employers must make reasonable accommodations for a disabled employee so the employee can do the job despite a disability.
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, can provide the help you need if you’ve been the victim of discrimination based on a disability or health condition in the workplace.
We are ready to answer your questions, including whether you qualify as disabled, whether your employer provided reasonable accommodations and if what you experienced is considered discrimination under the law.
If you have a valid claim, our Long Island disability discrimination lawyer can help you file a claim with the proper agency and make sure deadlines are met. If your rights have been violated, we are here to see they are restored and that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve under the law.
For a disability discrimination claim to be valid, you must first show that you actually qualify as disabled under the definition of “disability” in the ADA.
An individual may be considered disabled if he or she falls into one or more of the following categories:
The person has a documented impairment.
There is a perception by others that the person has a disability.
The person’s ability to perform one or more major life functions is limited due to a physical or mental disability.
In addition, it must also be evident that the applicant or employee can, in fact, perform the duties of the position due to the person’s training, skills, education or experience, and that this can be accomplished with reasonable accommodations.
Even a perceived disability may be the basis of illegal discrimination.
For example, an employer may consider an employee or an applicant to be disabled based on a perceived impairment. An example could be someone with a severe limp, but who qualifies for the job and would be able to adequately and professionally perform the duties of the job. The employer feels that the “perceived disability” will distract other employees or the employee won’t fit in, and so does not hire or promote the individual. This is illegal.
It is also illegal to harass an employee who had or has a disability or health condition. While good-natured teasing or an infrequent comment may not qualify as harassment, frequent cutting comments or one that is clearly meant to be harmful or offensive could be discriminatory. The offender could be the employee’s supervisor, another employee or even a non-employee who is associated with the company, such as a client.
A critical facet of a valid discrimination claim is whether the action, or non-action, taken by the employer was instrumental in the ensuing adverse employment action taken.
In order to file a claim for disability or health condition discrimination, you should file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if the company has 15 or more employees.
For 4-14 employees, you should file the complaint with the New York Division of Human Rights. If you live in New York City, the complaint may be filed with the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, is experienced in helping individuals fight unfair workplace practices. We know the anguish that can result if a disability or health condition is used against you at work.
Every discrimination claim is different. We take the time to fully understand your unique situation. It takes skill and experience to know which factors could make the difference in a successful lawsuit.
Contact us today to start the discussion and get the quality legal help you need.