Heart Condition Disability Discrimination

You have a heart condition. This may include high blood pressure, coronary artery  disease, congenital heart failure, heart valve disease, congestive heart failure, enlargement of the heart, or various other heart conditions. It's not your fault. Heart disease is considered a disability in the workplace under discrimination law in New York State and New York City, and your employer cannot discriminate against you because of your heart condition.

People with heart conditions may experience discrimination in the workplace in New York, both in hiring and firing. You may undergo heart condition discrimination at work because your employer doesn't understand you are still able to work during and after treatment for your heart condition.  Even if you are recovering from a heart attack, or have recovered, sometimes your employer believes that you are likely to be absent from work or that you won't focus on your job and will perceive you to be disabled, even though you can get your job done. Even if you have to be absent from work, and you need to take sick leave, there is a good chance that you will recover, and continue to be a productive employee. Don't give up, even if your heart condition is having side effects which for the time being affect your ability to work. Many, if not most, of heart disease victims return to work.

You are entitled to a reasonable accommodation for your heart disease, and your New York employer cannot subject you to heart condition disability discrimination. For example, you may request work breaks from time to time so that you can regain your strength, the option of working from home, use of aids to help you walk, variation in commute times, equipment to help you lift things, fans or air conditioners, or other reasonable accommodations that you may need. If your employer does not give you a reasonable accommodation, that would be disability discrimination because of your heart condition.

Nor can your New York employer subject you to a hostile environment because of your heart disease. That would also be a form of disability discrimination. For example, you have difficulty getting around the workplace, and your employer makes negative comments about this, or says it will make a bad impression on customers or other workers, even though you are perfectly capable of doing your job with a reasonable accommodation. That would be a form of hostile environment disability discrimination based on your heart condition.

Your employer cannot disclose your medical information or records to just anyone. You are entitled to confidentiality in your medical records and information.

If you are afraid to ask for an accommodation, know that your employer cannot retaliate against you for requesting an accommodation.

Contact us online or call us at (212) 949-1001 so that we can review if your New York City employer has subjected you to disability discrimination because of your heart condition in violation of law in New York State or New York City.

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