It is unfortunate that individuals who already struggle with daily tasks have to face further difficulties in the workplace. For this reason, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibits employers with 15+ employees from discriminating on the basis of disability or the perception thereof. State laws, however, may protect individuals that work for smaller companies.
What is Disability Discrimination?
Disability discrimination occurs when an individual is laid off, denied a promotion, or denied employment altogether, due to an actual or perceived disability.
According to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), “disabled” includes “any physical, mental or psychological impairment, or a history or record of such impairment.” This also includes individuals that are simply perceived as disabled. New York defines the term “disabled” more broadly than federal law.
What Accommodations Must Employers Make Under the ADA?
The ADA as well as New York City Human Rights laws require employers to reasonably accommodate employees who might require such adjustments in order to perform their job’s essential functions.
Examples of accommodations include:
Making the workplace wheelchair-friendly or accessible to those with disabilities;
Adjusting work schedules to allow for treatment/medication, i.e. insulin injections;
Providing accommodations that would help the employee to work and would not cause an undue hardship on the employer
What Must I Prove In Order to Bring A Disability Discrimination Claim?
In order to bring a disability discrimination claim, the employee must prove that:
They are either disabled or able of being perceived as disabled,
Their employment was adversely affected, and
The adverse effect on employment was due to the disability or perception thereof.
Disabilities are not only limited to mental disorders but also include depression, substance abuse/addiction, and pregnancy.
How Soon Must I File My Disability Discrimination Claim?
The EEOC generally requires an individual to file a complaint within 180 days of the most recent discriminatory act, or 45 days if the individual is a federal employee.
If you believe you have been treated unfairly due to your disability or appearance thereof, you should contact Sethi & Mazaheri at 646-397-1287 in order to discuss your disability discrimination claim.
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