Long Island Disability Discrimination
Long Island had a total population of over 7.5 million residents as of 2010. Many people from Long Island suburbs commute to New York City via the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), which is considered the busiest commuter railroad in the U.S. Both federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of a disability. Many different conditions count as disabilities, including medical conditions like diabetes and impairments such as paralysis. If you have been a victim of disability discrimination, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a lawsuit. At Phillips & Associates, our Long Island disability discrimination lawyers are dedicated to helping employees who have been hired, fired, demoted, not promoted, paid less, or otherwise treated adversely on the job due to their disabilities. There are no upfront fees. We are a contingency employment law firm. Call us today for a free consultation at (516) 365-3731.Claims Based on Disability Discrimination
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New York State Human Rights Law both forbid employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of disabilities and require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified workers with disabilities. These laws have some subtle differences.
The ADA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It defines a “disability” as a mental or physical impairment that substantially restricts at least one major life activity, a record of this type of impairment, or a condition regarded by others as an impairment. A disability discrimination attorney can help Long Island employees determine whether they meet this definition. For example, Type 2 diabetes is a major physical impairment whereby your body does not process sugar as other people's bodies do. Bipolar disorder is a major mental impairment whereby you may not be able to regulate your mood and emotions in the way that other people do.
Meanwhile, the New York State Human Rights Law defines a “disability” as a physical, mental, or medical impairment arising out of anatomical, physiological, genetic, or neurological conditions that stop normal bodily functions or that can be demonstrated through clinical or laboratory techniques accepted by the medical community. Under the state law, you are also disabled if you have a record of such an impairment or are regarded by others as being impaired in this way.
Disability discrimination can include intentional acts by employers to deny disabled employees the same opportunities and benefits as they provide to people without disabilities. For example, an employer that refuses to hire anyone in a wheelchair to a management position because it sees a disabled employee as not being "management material" would be discriminating. However, disability discrimination can also occur as harassment or through a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation.Reasonable Accommodations
A reasonable accommodation is a change in how things are done at work so that a disabled job applicant can apply for a job or a worker can do their job. For example, if you have chronic fatigue syndrome, reasonable accommodations might include rest breaks or an unpaid leave. A reasonable accommodation for a manager who is deaf might include having a person who speaks sign language come to translate a management meeting. Other accommodations might include reassignments, changes in schedule, or alterations to work policies.
As our Long Island disability discrimination attorneys recognize, a reasonable accommodation must be provided even if you are on a probationary period as an employee. The only reason why an employer could deny a reasonable accommodation is if it would pose an undue hardship. However, you are not necessarily entitled to exactly the type of accommodation that you are requesting.
After you ask for a reasonable accommodation, your employer is supposed to start an interactive process or dialogue whereby it can determine which accommodation would be appropriate. The process may include an inquiry into your disability for the purposes of assessing which accommodation would help you.
Whether providing the accommodation presents an undue hardship depends on how large the employer is, its financial resources, and its business operations. In some cases, an employer might claim that providing a reasonable accommodation presents an undue hardship in order to avoid hiring an applicant or promoting an employee, or in order to terminate an employee. If you suspect that your employer is not being honest, you should consult an experienced attorney about your options.Contact a Knowledgeable Disability Discrimination Lawyer on Long Island
At Phillips & Associates, we fight all of the forms of employer misconduct on Long Island, including mistreatment of people who are dealing with disabilities. Contact us at (516) 365-3731 or through our online form to find out about your potential recourse.
PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
1129 Northern Boulevard, 4th Floor,
Manhasset, NY 11030