Securing Reasonable Accommodations for Disabled Workers on Long Island
Disability Discrimination Lawyers Help Secure Reasonable Accommodations for Long Island Employees
Lawyers on Long Island, like the ones at Leeds Brown, see many cases of discrimination against workers with disabilities and the number is increasing. Federal laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and state and local laws like New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws, are in place to protect disabled people from employment discrimination. The government at all levels has made it clear that encouraging disabled employees to remain relevant and productive members of the workforce, is a priority.
The laws state that an employer may not discriminate against a qualified disabled person in any aspect of employment. Regulated practices include decisions about compensating, hiring, firing, promoting and training. An employer may not consider an actual or perceived disability when making decisions about a qualified individual. Upon learning about someone’s disability, an employer must make a reasonable accommodation for that applicant or employee.
If you are an individual with a disability and have been the victim of workplace discrimination on Long Island, consider speaking with an experienced employment lawyer. At Leeds Brown, we have the dedicated legal professionals you want on your side – people with the knowledge and a history of success navigating the complexities of discrimination cases. We can help you understand your rights and will work tirelessly to protect them. You won’t find Long Island discrimination attorneys who will work harder on your behalf to obtain the outcome you desire.
The Law Requires Reasonable Accommodation
If you have a disability, and you ask for a reasonable accommodation, your employer is obligated to try and provide one. The obligation to request assistance rests with the employee. A reasonable accommodation helps a worker with a disability perform the essential functions of his or her job.
Accommodation may include things such as:
- Modifying or providing additional work equipment
- Changing work hours
- Changing work shifts
- Relocating workspace
- Adjusting equipment or furniture
- Altering or adding break times
- Providing additional training
- Modifying job duties
Examples of a request for a workplace accommodation are:
- An employee with a neck injury requests a headphone receiver to allow her to use the phones without pain
- An employee requests two extra breaks each day so she can take the injectable medication she needs to treat a chronic illness
- A worker in a wheelchair requests that his employer raises the height of his desk to accommodate his chair
- A worker with carpal tunnel syndrome seeks an ergonomically friendly keyboard
- An employee with bladder problems asks you to move his workspace closer to the restroom
- A person with a bad back asks for a new chair
- A vision impaired worker asks for a phone with extra-large buttons and an employee handbook in large print
After you make a request for accommodation, your employer must work with you to determine what you need to do your job and whether or not the business can provide it. The law demands that both parties be flexible and open minded and work together to find an agreeable solution with the ultimate goal of employee retention. If a reasonable accommodation exists that will allow you to carry out the essential functions of the job, the employer should do its best to provide suitable assistance.
There is no comprehensive list of what an acceptable accommodation for a disabled employee is. It can include almost anything – but is only required if it is reasonable. An employer does not have a legal obligation to make an accommodation that is unreasonable.
Reasonable Accommodations Must not Impose Undue Hardship
An employer on Long Island, like everywhere else, only has to make an accommodation when it is reasonable to do so, and this is where complications can arise. Employment discrimination cases that involve a disabled worker, often depend on whether or not a sought-after accommodation is reasonable.
The general rule is that an accommodation is reasonable if it will not impose an undue hardship on the business. What is an undue hardship? It depends on the circumstances of each case. If your employer can, in fact, prove that your accommodation would impose an undue hardship, it does not have to provide your accommodation. A logical assumption is that if there is a small expense or only mild inconvenience to the employer, the accommodation is likely reasonable.
What is an undue hardship? Factors that the court may consider include the level of cost and disruption that providing the accommodation would impose on the business. If the accommodation would result in significant expenses or months of building construction, the court may determine that it is unreasonable.
For example, an employee who has difficulty walking requests that the company builds a new restroom closer to his office. He claims his disability makes getting to the existing bathroom so challenging and time-consuming that it is affecting his ability to get work done. An analysis of this situation might include questions such as:
- What is the cost of such a project?
- Can the business handle such an expense?
- How disruptive would construction be to the business?
- Can the person’s office be moved closer to the existing restroom?
- How does this affect his ability to perform the job?
An employer cannot claim undue hardship simply because it does not wish to accommodate a worker with a disability. The court will consider factors such as the ones above when deciding whether an employer has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation.
Understand Your Employment Rights: Consult Long Island Disability Discrimination Lawyers
If you have experienced workplace discrimination because of a disability, contact Leeds Brown. We can help determine if you are entitled to a reasonable accommodation at your place of employment or monetary damages under provisions of the ADA or other anti-discrimination laws. Our firm has decades of experience protecting the rights of disabled workers on Long Island and throughout New York and can help you to obtain the fair resolution of your matter.
The analysis of a reasonable accommodation or employment discrimination case can be complicated. The legal professionals at Leeds Brown possess the dedication and skill to advocate for employees with disabilities and achieve fair and positive results.
Contact someone today at 1-800-585-4658.