Disability Rights in the Workplace
If you have a disability, federal and state laws protect you from workplace discrimination that is related to your disability. At the federal level, both the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, and the Rehabilitation Act provide protection from unlawful discrimination. In addition, the New York State Human Rights Law, or HRL, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, or NJLAD, add an additional layer of protection at the state level for disabled workers.
If you believe that an employer has violated your rights by discriminating against you based on a disability or perceived disability, contact the New York and New Jersey disability discrimination lawyers at Ginarte Gonzalez & Winograd today by calling 888-GINARTE (446-2783), or fill out our online contact form. We offer free initial consultations and claim reviews.
What Is Workplace Disability Discrimination?
In general, disability discrimination occurs when an employer treats a disabled employee unfavorably because of his or her disability. Disability discrimination can also be the result of unfavorable treatment based on an employee’s past disability or on a perceived disability that does not actually exist.
Under federal law, the employee must be a “qualified worker with a disability” to be entitled to protection from discrimination. Under the ADA, “disability” is defined as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” A “qualified worker with a disability” is defined as “someone capable of performing the essential duties of the job, with or without a reasonable accommodation by the employer.” While these definitions are rather broad, both the New York and New Jersey definitions of “disabled” are even more inclusive. Under New York’s HRL, for example, a worker has to show only that he or she has an impairment, not that the impairment limits a major life activity.
At the federal level, not all employers are subject to anti-discrimination laws. The federal ADA applies to private employers with 15 or more employees and all government employers. The New York disability discrimination laws under the HRL apply to all government employers as well as all private employers with four or more employees. The NJLAD applies to all government and private employers, regardless of the number of workers employed.
Disability discrimination can take many forms at any stage of employment. Some common examples of situations that may qualify as unlawful disability discrimination include the following:
- Failing to hire, promote or give a raise to an employee on the basis of a present, past or perceived disability.
- Firing, demoting or laying off an employee based on a present, past or perceived disability.
- Denying benefits to a disabled employee.
- Not offering training or other advancement opportunities to a disabled employee
- Harassment in the workplace aimed at the employee’s disability. Harassment can be unwanted or offensive physical, emotional or verbal conduct.
- Failing to make reasonable accommodations when requested by the employee.
Determining whether an employer’s conduct amounts to disability discrimination can be complicated. If, however, you feel that you have been the victim of discriminatory practices in the workplace as the result of a present, past or perceived disability, then you should consult with an experienced workplace disability discrimination attorney as soon as possible.
Contact the NY/NJ Disability Discrimination Attorneys at the Ginarte Law Firm Today
As a victim of workplace disability discrimination, you may be entitled to compensation for economic damages, such as lost wages, as well as for the pain and suffering endured as a result of the employer’s conduct.
If you feel that you or a loved one has been discriminated against due to your disability or that you have not been provided with reasonable accommodations for your disability, contact the Ginarte law firm today to find out what legal options you may have. Call us now at 888-GINARTE (446-2783) for your free consultation, or fill out our online contact form. We collect attorney’s fees only if you win your case.