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Disability Discrimination and Your Workplace – What You Need To Know

Disability discrimination is a type of employment discrimination that occurs when people with disabilities are denied the same rights as others in the workplace or other aspects of life. In some cases, disability discrimination can be failing to provide reasonable accommodations or taking adverse action against employees based on their disability.

State and federal laws make disability harassment illegal in New York. Yet, some employers still discriminate against employees with disabilities. What should you do if you suspect that your employer has discriminated against you because of a disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal law, protects individuals from employment discrimination based on their disability. This law applies to both public and private employers. If you believe that you have been a victim because of indirect or direct discrimination, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

To prove that your employer violated the ADA, you must show that:

  • Your employer failed to provide reasonable accommodations or job modifications to allow you to perform the essential functions of your position.
  • Your employer did not engage in good faith discussions regarding possible accommodations.
  • Your employer refused to hire you or fired you because of your disability.

If the EEOC determines that there was an unlawful act, they will issue you a right-to-sue letter outlining what actions need to happen next. The EEOC will also offer assistance with your claim. You may want to consider contacting an attorney at this time. An experienced employment lawyer can help guide you through the process to know exactly what steps to take next.

If you are unsure whether or not the ADA has been violated, but think that you may be able to successfully bring forth a claim for disability discrimination under other laws, then contact the law firm Levine & Blit by calling (212) 967-3000 today for a free case evaluation.

Disability Discrimination And Your Workplace

What Constitutes Disability Discrimination in the Workplace?

Disability discrimination can take the form of comments made by managers or executives about the disability and some form of adverse employment action or decision. The activities might include non-promotion, less favorable working conditions, disciplinary measures, layoffs, or termination.

An employer may refuse to make reasonable accommodations for a worker who can perform the “essential functions” of the job, but refuses to do so. However, when an individual cannot perform those duties, it is possible that they could be considered a disabled person within the meaning of the ADA.

Disability Harassment Examples:

  • Discriminating in various aspects of employment – based on physical or mental disability.
  • Asking job applicants about their health history or requiring them to take a medical examination.
  • Disability-based harassment of an employee.
  • Making derogatory remarks about a person’s disability.
  • Indirect discrimination by treating an individual or group of employees the same as everyone else when they do need some special accommodations.

What Is a Reasonable Accommodation?

In general, it means any change or modification to job responsibilities that aids someone with a disability in performing their work satisfactorily. It does not mean that you need to eliminate every aspect of the job – only the necessary ones.

According to EEOC guidelines, once a disabled employee requests reasonable accommodations, the employer must make a reasonable effort to determine the appropriate accommodations. In addition, employers and qualified individuals with disabilities need to interact to determine the most appropriate accommodation. As a result, employers are not solely responsible for identifying reasonable accommodations.

Call Our Expert Disability Discrimination Lawyers

All companies are required by law to make reasonable accommodations for people who have a physical or mental impairment which limits one or more major life activities, including working.

If you believe you are entitled to accommodation per the ADA, please contact our workplace discrimination lawyers at (212) 967-3000 . We can help evaluate your case and determine whether your particular situation qualifies as a legitimate claim for accommodation.

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