Failure to Accommodate
Under federal law, an employer is required to make certain accommodations for a disabled employee if those changes will make it easier for the employee to do his or her job. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities who can perform their job functions if such accommodations are available. Along with the federal law, state and local laws in both New Jersey and New York provide additional protection for victims of an employer who has failed to make reasonable accommodations for a disability.
Both the New York State Human Rights Law (HRL) and the New York City Human Rights Law also provide protection for disabled workers by requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations when requested. Likewise, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for their handicapped employees unless the nature and extent of the employee’s handicap reasonably precludes job performance.
If you believe your employer has failed to make the required accommodations for your disability, contact the New York/New Jersey disability discrimination lawyers at Ginarte Gonzalez & Winograd today. Call us at 888-GINARTE (446-2783) or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.
What Is Failure to Accommodate?
Millions of Americans have disabilities that are significant enough to require some changes by an employer in order for the employee to perform his or her job well, yet the disabilities are not severe enough to prevent them from maintaining gainful employment and being an asset to the workplace. In order to protect these workers, both federal and state laws require employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees who request them.
Some common examples of reasonable accommodations that may be requested in the workplace include:
- Modified work schedule
- Medical leave of absence
- Modified facilities to make them handicapped accessible
- Acquiring modified equipment or devices
- Reassignment to a more suitable position
There is no uniform process for requesting an accommodation from an employer. However, when an employee requests assistance in some form from an employer, the employer is then legally obligated to participate in the process of attempting to make reasonable accommodations. At that point, both the employee and the employer have a duty to make a good-faith effort to find a reasonable accommodation for the employee.
If you feel that your employer has breached its duty to assist in the reasonable accommodation process, then you may have a claim for failure to accommodate. In order to prevail in a failure-to-accommodate lawsuit, you must show that the employer was aware of your disability and that you requested accommodations for the disability. You must then prove that the employer failed to make a good-faith effort to help you find those accommodations and that you could have been reasonably accommodated if your employer had made a good-faith effort.
Under both federal and state laws, an employer is required to make only “reasonable” accommodations for a disabled employee. If the requested accommodations will result in an “undue hardship” to the employer, then the employer is released from the obligation to make the accommodations under the law.
An undue hardship is something that would be too expensive or too complicated for the employer considering the size, financial resources and needs of the company. Whether a requested accommodation amounts to an undue hardship is something that is considered on a case-by-case basis. However, the majority of the time, an accommodation request is not particularly expensive or difficult and therefore is not considered an undue hardship, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Contact the NY/NJ Failure to Accommodate Attorneys at the Ginarte Law Firm Today
If you are disabled and you believe that your employer has failed to meet your requests for reasonable accommodations, then you may have the basis for a failure-to-accommodate lawsuit under either federal or state law. If you prevail in your lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for your economic damages, such as lost wages, as well as for the emotional suffering you have endured as a result of your employer’s conduct.
Contact the disability discrimination lawyers at the Ginarte law firm now to find out what legal options you may have. With eight offices conveniently located in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, we have an office near you. Contact the firm today by calling 888-GINARTE (446-2783) for your free consultation, or fill out our online contact form.