Disability Discrimination

You did not ask to have a disability, but those were the cards you were dealt. You need to make a living, and you want to work. You can perform the essential functions of your job, but you just need the employer to make a reasonable accommodation.

The definition of disability under New York State discrimination law and New York City discrimination law is very broad, and many medical conditions are covered, both permanent and temporary. For example, laryngitis is deemed a disability under New York State discrimination law and New York City Discrimination Law. Each disability may require its own reasonable accommodations that will enable you to be a productive part of the workforce. For example, you need a break during the day or you need some time off to go the doctor. Or you have a back problem, and you need a part of your job to reassigned. Or you have wrist problems, and you need a special keyboard computer keyboard. Each situation is unique, and your employer must engage in a good faith dialogue about whether your disability can be reasonably accommodated.

Sometimes your employer refuses to give you a reasonable accommodation, and denies you equal pay, promotions, job opportunities and benefits, and then the employer fires you. That is unfair, and it's illegal. Discrimination based on disability is illegal under Federal, New York State and New York City discrimination laws.

The Federal law that applies to employees with disabilities is the The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. To be considered disabled under this statute, you must have an impairment that limits a major life activity, such as caring for oneself, walking, breathing, etc., or a history of such impairment, or be regarded by your employer as having such an impairment. The impairment must substantially limit you. It cannot be minor. And you must be able to perform the essential functions of your job, with or without a reasonable accommodation. Because the statute was often interpreted to exclude many conditions which would be disabilities in a common sense understanding of the term, the statute was amended in 2008, which has begun to result in more conditions being covered under the statute. If you are employed in New York City and suffer disability discrimination in the workplace, you have much better protection, because the definition of a disability is much broader. You are considered to have a disability if you have any medical or psychological impairment. 

Sometimes you tell us that you are subjected to a hostile environment based on your disability. People are making hurtful comments about your disability, or they use code words. A hostile environment based on disability discrimination is illegal under Federal Law, New York State Law, and New York City Law. Nor can your employer retaliate against you because you complained of age discrimination.

In our more than 25 years of experience, we have been helped hundreds of employees subjected to disability discrimination and to a hostile environment based on a disability, and we will be your lawyer for negotiations or a court suit in New York State Courts or New York City so that injustice is stopped.

Contact us online or call us at (212) 949-1001 for a free initial consultation today.

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