H. Joseph Cronen
H. Joseph Cronen is an experienced New York City employment lawyer at Phillips & Associates. He has served as a member of the New York County Lawyers' Association Committee on Civil Rights and Liberties. He is admitted to the New York Bar and the Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Districts of New York.
Mr. Cronen graduated with a B.A. in History and Politics in 2004. He graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. While in law school, he was awarded a Presidential Law Scholarship and a CALI Award for Comparative Law: Middle East. He also served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Steven González in King County Superior Court, who now sits on the Washington State Supreme Court. After law school, he worked at several different firms, representing victims of police misconduct, handling personal injury lawsuits on behalf of accident victims, and advocating for the rights of employees.
Some of the cases that Mr. Cronen handles involve disability discrimination in the workplace. Disability discrimination occurs in the workplace when an employee is treated adversely by their employer due to a disability. Moreover, disability discrimination also exists if an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly because of a perceived disability or a record of having a disability. Protection is also provided when an employee's or job applicant's spouse has a disability.
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not provide a list of covered disabilities. Instead, the issue is whether your medical condition or disability meets the definition provided by the ADA. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity.
Employers may not take an adverse employment action against you because of your disability. For example, a prospective employer cannot refuse to hire you because you have cancer. Likewise, your current employer may not fire you because you disclose that you have ADD in order to get a reasonable accommodation. Other adverse employment actions can include failure to promote, failure to provide benefits, or assigning an employee to the least prestigious department or least prestigious clients.
Under the ADA, you are entitled to ask for a reasonable accommodation, assuming that you are a qualified job applicant or employee with a disability, and your employer is covered by the ADA. Reasonable accommodations are any changes to the work environment or how things are done in the workplace that allow you to do your job. They could include, for example, providing a wheelchair ramp if you are in a wheelchair. Or they could include providing braille documentation if you are blind. Or they could involve allowing you more frequent and flexible rest breaks if you have a personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or anxiety. The only time that an employer need not provide you with a reasonable accommodation is when it would cause the employer an undue hardship.
Disability harassment is another type of disability discrimination. Harassment may include offensive remarks, name-calling, gestures, jokes, pranks, and other hostile conduct. If you face a hostile work environment due to a disability, a perceived disability, or a record of having a disability, you may have a claim under the ADA. In order to be actionable, harassment must be so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment or causes an unfavorable employment action, such as being fired.
As a disabled worker, you may face unfair assumptions by employers. Mr. Cronen is committed to protecting the rights of disabled workers, as well as all other employees in the workplace who have been unfairly treated. He can help you develop a strategy to pursue damages. Our firm represents people in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, as well as Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties and New Jersey. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form. We offer free consultations and do not charge upfront fees to our clients.