Everyone is allowed the opportunity to work—even those who are disabled. However, some companies discriminate against those who are mentally or physically disabled. While a disabled person may not be able to perform all types of jobs, many can, and they should be afforded the same rights.
There is a federal law that protects the employment rights of those with disabilities. The Americans With Disabilities Act covers businesses with 15 or more employees and mandates that they make reasonable accommodations for those who can perform the major functions of the job, but may need some assistance in some areas. There is also a local law called the New York City Human Rights Law. This law prohibits discrimination in several areas, including employment, housing and public accommodations. It offers numerous protections for workers, such as criminal record, unemployment status, credit history and salary history.
If you believe you have faced discrimination in the workplace, there are some steps you need to take. Follow this guide and hire a knowledgeable employment discrimination lawyer right away.
What is a Reasonable Accommodation?
Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Different job tasks.
- Aids to increase access.
- Flexible work schedule.
- Reassignment to different job.
- Adjustments to equipment or software.
- Changes in presentation of information (for example, written materials for those who are hearing impaired).
- Reserved parking.
- Use of service animals.
Filing a Lawsuit
The process begins with the employee disclosing to the employer that he or she has a disability. The employer may require proof in the form of documentation from a healthcare provider. Once this disclosure takes place, the employer should have a discussion with the employee to understand his or her limitations and determine what changes need to be made.
If the employer refuses to make reasonable accommodations for the employee, then the employee may be able to file a disability discrimination claim. You will need either direct or circumstantial evidence to prove discrimination. Direct evidence would be your employer telling you that you are fired for becoming disabled. Most cases, however, rely on cirumstantial evidence, which is indirect proof that discrimination took place.
Before a lawsuit can be filed, the first step is to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This must be filed within 180 days of the act.
The agency may investigate the claim, attempt to work with your employer or dismiss the claim. You will then receive a right to sue letter, which allows you to file a lawsuit. You will have just 90 days from that point to sue your employer, so act quickly.
Contact a New York Disability Discrimination Lawyer
Those with disabilities are capable of doing the same work as those who are able-bodied. If your employer has fired you due to a disability or refuses to make reasonable accommodations for you so you can get work done, you may be able to sue for compensation.
Seek legal help from the experienced discrimination attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. We only work on employment cases, so we have the skills and resources to help you achieve a favorable outcome. Contact our office at (347) 464-8694 for a consultation.