Heart condition employment discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly by an employer because of the employee’s heart condition, whether it is actual or perceived. Discrimination on the basis of a heart condition is prohibited by law in the state of New York.
Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the U.S., responsible for approximately 610,000 deaths a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Coronary heart disease, caused by plaque building up on the walls of the arteries, is the most common type of heart disease and kills 370,000 people a year.
Approximately 735,000 Americans have heart attacks every year, the CDC reports. Many more Americans have heart conditions. Many of these conditions are diagnosed as hypertension (high blood pressure). Coronary heart disease, stroke and congestive heart failure are also common in the U.S.
Health factors that can contribute to heart conditions include:
However, just because some has had a heart condition in the past or currently has a heart condition, that does not mean that he or she is unable to be a productive employee.
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, can provide the help you need if you’ve been the victim of workplace discrimination based on a heart condition. If you have a valid claim, our lawyers 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.
Contact us for a free consultation today.
Employers wrongfully discriminate against employees with heart conditions in any number of ways. An employer may refuse to heart a qualified applicant because of heart condition or may not want an employee who has undergone medical treatment for heart disease to return to work because of a fear that the illness will continue.
Work conditions can sometimes aggravate heart conditions, and employers may refuse to make reasonable accommodations for an affected employee. The employee might be dismissed, demoted or passed over for promotion. Instead of terminating a worker with a heart condition, an employer may create a hostile work environment to force the employee to resign.
Employment discrimination on the basis of a heart condition is illegal under city, state and federal laws.
People who work for private employers with 15 or more employees are protected under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against discrimination on the basis of disability. Although specific conditions that qualify as disability are not listed in the ADA, its protections apply to any physical impairment that substantially limits major activities or bodily functions, which would apply to many forms of coronary heart disease and other heart conditions.
Under the ADA, employers may not show bias because of an employee’s health condition or disability. That protection applies to hiring, firing, level of position, promotions, wages and benefits. Federal law also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities that will enable them to do their jobs.
Discrimination on the basis of disability is also prohibited under New York State Human Rights Law and under the New York City Human Rights Law. Employees who have been victims of heart condition discrimination may be entitled to file a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights and the New York State Division of Human Rights. On the federal level, an aggrieved employee may file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace because of a heart condition, you may be entitled to damages from your employer. Your best course of action is to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to find out if you may have a valid claim. Damages you may be entitled to recover could include lost salary, future losses (front pay) and compensatory damages, such as pain and suffering, physical injury, shock and discomfort, and mental anguish. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available.
Additionally, if your employer has 15 or more employees and is covered by the federal ADA, your employer may be required to make accommodations for your condition. For example, if your doctor has ordered you to avoid certain physical activities that may put stress on your heart, your employer might assign your job functions that involve those physical activities to other employees.
If you have a heart condition and believe you have been the victim of employment discrimination, our Long Island employment discrimination attorney at Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, wants to help. We have the skills, experience and resources you need on your side, and we are ready to aggressively and effectively fight employment discrimination, including workplace discrimination based on a heart condition.
Contact our firm for an immediate, free case evaluation. If you have a valid claim, we can work with you to put together the documentation your case requires and help you file your claim with the appropriate city, state and federal authorities. We can also provide high-quality legal representation in a civil lawsuit for damages.
As an employee, you have rights, and the legal team at Cohen & Jaffe LLP is dedicated to ensuring that your rights are protected.