New Jersey Disability Discrimination
Disabled or differently-abled job applicants and employees are protected from discrimination, harassment and retaliation by both federal and state laws in New Jersey. Many different medical conditions and injuries can result in temporary or permanent disability including cancer, autism, ADHD, sensory processing issues, diabetes, genetic illnesses (sickle cell anemia), paralysis, fractures, and more. If you're qualified for the job, you should not be treated unfavorably by your employer due to a disability. Phillips & Associates has aggressive, knowledgeable disability discrimination attorneys who may be able to help you recover damages.Establishing Disability Discrimination
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit employment discrimination against a qualified employee on the basis of a disability. The NJLAD also prohibits discrimination on the basis of atypical hereditary cellular or blood traits or genetic test results (such as whether you have sickle cell anemia or tests to see if you are likely to be or become a smoker or develop cancer). But you must be qualified to do your job and/or able to perform the essential functions of the job to be protected.
You are considered disabled under the law if you can show that you suffer from a physical or psychological disorder that interferes with a major life activity such as walking, talking eating, working, etc. In order to show that you are qualified for the job, you need to show that you can perform fundamental job tasks, not that you can perform all of them.You Are Entitled to Reasonable Accommodations
You may be able to ask your employer for a reasonable accommodation under either the NJLAD or the ADA. A reasonable accommodation is a change in the work environment or how things are usually done that permit a disabled individual to have equal opportunities in the workplace. If you request a reasonable accommodation, your employer is required to engage in a good faith interactive process with you to determine the feasibility of your request or other alternatives.
A reasonable accommodation may include any change to the work environment or non-essential features of the job that would help you apply for the job, perform job duties, or enjoy the benefits of your job. For example, a reasonable accommodation might involve making a worksite accessible for a wheelchair user, providing an ergonomic chair, allowing an employee breaks to administer insulin shots, or giving an employee with cancer a more flexible work schedule or time off to go to chemotherapy appointments.
Your employer should provide you with an accommodation, unless doing so presents an undue hardship. Several factors will be considered to determine whether an accommodation is an undue hardship, including cost, the size of the employer, and business needs. The employer doesn't have to provide you with the precise accommodation you want. However, the employer cannot refuse to give you an accommodation only because it costs something.4 Types of Claims for Disability Discrimination in New Jersey
There are four basic claims you can bring under the NJLAD or ADA
Discrimination or different treatment due to your disability. Here, you must show that you were treated less favorably than other employees due to your disability (such as in hiring, firing, promoting, etc. decisions)
Hostile Work Environment: This is where comments and conduct about your disability (or perceived disability) by other employees or supervisors, creates an intolerable work environment. This usually happens with jokes or comments about your disability or laughing at you because of the disability.
Failure to Reasonable Accommodate: In a failure to accommodate claim, you will have to show your employer didn't act reasonably or in good faith in trying to figure out a reasonable accommodation or that they simply refused to provide one.
Retaliation: You cannot be retaliated against because you asked for a reasonable accommodation or needed one. You also cannot be retaliated against because you complained about disability discrimination or not getting the requested accommodation.
You deserve to have your work and job performance considered on the merits, rather than on irrelevant abilities or disabilities you might have. The New Jersey disability discrimination lawyers of Phillips & Associates can provide aggressive, experienced representation. Call us at (609) 436-9087 or through our online form to set up an appointment. We represent workers in Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington, and Camden Counties, among other areas.
PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
100 Overlook Center, 2nd Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540