Disability Discrimination Attorneys Recover Compensation for Workers
New York disability discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown aggressively advocate for disabled workers in New York City and across the nation. There are federal, State and local New York City disability laws that prohibit discrimination and determining where you and your employer fit within them can be a daunting task.
If you think you have experienced disability discrimination, you should speak with lawyers at a firm that has a proven track record of successful outcomes. Leeds Brown has decades of experience successfully litigating and settling employment discrimination claims, and will work tirelessly to see that you get the compensation you deserve.
Disability Discrimination is Unlawful
The Americans with Disabilities Act is the federal legislative act that prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals in “employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.”
The law forbids discrimination in hiring, firing, promoting or compensating someone based on a disability. The law also makes it illegal to harass an employee based on a disability. The ADA also prohibits retaliation against employees who complain about disability discrimination or refuse to participate in such discrimination.
In addition, the law makes it unlawful to do any of these things based on even a “perceived” disability. The law requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees to help them to perform their jobs.
In many important ways, New York State and City Human Rights Laws echo the ADA.
What is a Disability Under the Law?
Under the ADA someone with a disability has:
- A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities
- A record of such an impairment, or
- Is perceived as having such an impairment.
A “qualified individual with a disability” is someone who can perform the key or essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation. As stated above, an employer must make a reasonable accommodation for the qualified disabled employee. An employer may not be required to make a reasonable accommodation if the employer can adequately demonstrate that it would cause an undue hardship.
Consider the following scenarios:
**You work as a data entry employee and develop serious arthritis in your hands. You can still type slowly but it is quite painful to do so. You request a reasonable accommodation in the form of a software program that would allow you to enter the data with your voice.
What might your employer say? Your employer may argue that you can no longer perform the key functions of your job. Is typing a key function or is entering the data itself the function? The employer may also claim that purchasing the software would cause undue hardship. Is it prohibitively expensive? Will speaking out loud distract others from getting their work done? Should your work space be moved?
**You have a stutter and apply for a job as a tour guide at a local museum. You do not get the job. You learn that members of the panel who interviewed you believed that your stutter would prevent you from properly educating people on the tours. You insist that you stutter only when you are very nervous and if you have a tour of just a few people you will be fine. The interviewer states that the tours are usually quite large and therefore, you are not a good fit for the position.
Is this a case of disability discrimination? Is asking for smaller tours a reasonable accommodation? Is this candidate qualified to perform the key function of the job?
As you can see each situation is different. There is not always a clear cut answer to the questions posed under disability laws. There is much room for interpretation, and this is where having an experienced discrimination lawyer on your side can help.
Law Against Disability Discrimination in New York
New York disability discrimination law provides even broader coverage than the ADA. In New York City and State, pregnancy and gender dysphoria are considered disabilities and it is, therefore, unlawful to discriminate based on either of these characteristics. Employers must make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women and transgender individuals.
Victims of Disability Discrimination File Lawsuits in State and Federal Court
Sometimes it may be enough to speak with your employer about what you believe to be discrimination. Other times, it may be beneficial to have a lawyer do so on your behalf. Perhaps your employer is willing to make a reasonable accommodation for you once he or she is under a bit of pressure. But, you may find yourself thinking about whether or not to pursue a claim or lawsuit against your employer. You will need to decide whether to proceed under federal law or state law.
To file a lawsuit in federal court under the ADA, an employee must first file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Only after that charge is filed and the employee receives a “right to sue” letter, may an employee pursue a lawsuit in federal court. Having an attorney guide you through this process can help ensure that you lay the proper ground work for a disability discrimination case.
A victim of disability discrimination in New York, however, can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights or file a lawsuit in state court instead. Victims of New York City disability discrimination may file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights or file a lawsuit in state court. Again, having an experienced discrimination attorney assist you can help in the long run.
Contact New York Disability Discrimination Attorneys to Protect Your Rights
If you think your employer has discriminated against you, refused to provide you with a reasonable accommodation, harassed you or retaliated against you, call experienced New York disability discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown.
Our commitment to our New York City clients is unmatched. We are here for you seven days a week, 24 hours a day and will work tirelessly to pursue the justice you deserve. Let Leeds Brown help you recover compensation when you experience discrimination at work or elsewhere. Call us at 1-800-585-4658 today.