Disability Discrimination Lawyers
It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against existing or potential employees because of their disability. But these laws don’t seem to deter some employers. If you or your loved one has been discriminated against due to disability, you may consider consulting disability discrimination lawyers NYC.
The cases of disability discrimination are rampant in various workplaces across the state and the entire nation. It is also not surprising that disability discrimination lawsuits target some of the biggest companies in the country.
Here are some real-life examples of such lawsuits:
A former Amazon brand manager recently sued the company over ‘draconian employment policies.’ Per the lawsuit filed by Brittany Hope, the giant e-commerce company allegedly failed to provide her reasonable accommodations as she battled ‘severe’ long Covid symptoms.
In Covington, Kentucky, a jury awarded a plaintiff $450,000 as compensation for wrongful dismissal. The plaintiff, Kevin Berling, had been fired by his employer, Gravity Diagnostics, for allegedly exhibiting violent behavior at the workplace. However, as things turned out, the employee had an anxiety disorder, a condition he had initially informed the employer about.
Identifying Disability Discrimination
Disability discrimination comes in different shapes and forms. As a general rule, it is always advisable to consult an employment lawyer if you feel that you or your loved one has been discriminated against but are not sure if the incident qualifies as disability discrimination. Here are some of the most common incidents of disability discrimination in the workplace.
Refusal to Hire
Picture this – you have a phone interview with a potential employer, and everything goes on just fine. Then, the prospective employer schedules an in-person interview with you. When you show up for the interview, the employer’s mood suddenly changes. Instead, they inform you that they no longer need your services. This could be a case of refusal to hire based on your disability if it is visible.
However, since many employers know that it is unlawful to discriminate against potential employees or even existing employees based on their disabilities, they may come up with different reasons to justify the refusal to hire. For example, the employer could claim that you were simply ‘not a good fit’ for the role. This excuse could seem valid initially but not when put under the legal microscope. In that case, you may want to consult experienced disability discrimination lawyers NYC.
Taking Adverse or Negative Actions
An employer cannot take adverse actions against qualifying employees due to their existing or assumed disability. To put things into perspective, an employer cannot:
- change your schedule or reduce your hours due to your disability;
- fire or demote you from your position for disability-related reasons;
- refuse to place you in roles requiring direct interaction with clients;
- refuse to promote you and choose to promote your colleagues instead if you qualify for the promotion; or
- decrease your salary or benefits due to your disability.
Employee Harassment Due to Disability Status
Your employer cannot harass you due to your disability status. For instance, they cannot create a toxic or hostile work environment for you, making it almost impossible for you to accomplish your designated tasks.
One of the greatest challenges with employee harassment cases is that most of them often seem normal in many workplaces. As a result, some workplaces tend to tolerate such incidents, causing the victims a lot of pain and suffering. In addition, some employees refuse to speak up about such issues because they fear losing their jobs or other forms of retaliatory actions by their employers. Others simply do not realize that they are being discriminated against.
Here are some common signs of discrimination in the workplace based on disability:
- Verbal harassment, such as jokes or comments about your disability or intrusive questions about your disability
- Refusal to provide reasonable accommodations for your disability, making it almost impossible for you to execute your tasks
- Assigning you tasks that aggravate your disability
- Treating you differently based on your disability
In employment law, disability discrimination refers to a situation where an employer or potential employer discriminates against an employee or potential employee due to the latter’s disabilities. However, it is also worth noting that disability discrimination is not only limited to individuals with a disability. For example, if an employer or potential employer discriminates against you due to your association with a disabled person or perceived disability, this could be a case of disability discrimination.
Workers’ Rights and Protections Against Disability Discrimination in NYC
In New York City, an employer cannot make employment decisions based on an employee’s or potential employee’s disability rather than their skills or qualifications. For example, an employer with 15 or more employees cannot base employment decisions on the fact that a current or potential employee has a disability. Such an action violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Closer home in New York State, it is illegal for employers, regardless of size, to make employment decisions based on disability if the employee or applicant is qualified for the job. This law came into effect on February 8, 2020. Before then, the law only applied to employers with four or more employees.
As of October 2019, independent contractors also qualify for these protections – employers cannot make employment decisions against them based on their disabilities.
In New York City, employers cannot make hiring, firing, or any other related employment decisions based on an individual’s disability if they qualify for the job. This law also applies to independent contractors.
How to Prove Disability Discrimination
If you suspect that you have a disability discrimination case against an employer, it is always advisable to speak with experienced disability discrimination lawyers. This is because disability laws are complex. An experienced disability attorney NYC will evaluate your case and determine the best way forward.
Claims Process Explained
You can file a disability discrimination complaint against your employer via the New York State Division of Human Rights website. However, this process is not so straightforward. For instance, you’ll need to have the complaint signed by a notary public, among other requirements. For best results, consider talking to an experienced disability discrimination attorney. The lawyer will review your case and walk you through the steps you need to pursue a claim.
How to Choose a Disability Discrimination Lawyer for Your Claim
There are many disability discrimination lawyers in New York City, but not every attorney or law firm you come across is worth working with. Here are some important factors to consider when looking for the best attorney for your case:
- What is their level of experience?
- Do they specialize in disability discrimination cases?
- Do they have any reviews or referrals?
- How much do they charge for their services and how do they charge?
- How knowledgeable do they sound?
How R&M Can Help With Your Disability Discrimination Claim
As mentioned before, one of the most important things to consider when looking for disability discrimination lawyers in NYC is whether they specialize in this area of employment law. At Ricotta & Marks, employment law is all we do. Our lawyers boast more than 35 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of New York City workers.
So, if you or your loved one has been discriminated against based on their disability, call us today at 347-960-4383 or send us a message online to schedule a free consultation. We might be able to help you secure the compensation you need and deserve.