The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prevents both public and private employers from discriminating against an employee because of his or her disability. Find out more about your rights when you speak with one of our Philadelphia disability discrimination attorneys. If you feel your ADA rights may have been violated anywhere in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, or if you would like to ask about your rights under the ADA, please contact our offices immediately and discuss with our New Jersey disability discrimination attorney to defend your legal rights.
Call 215-694-8885 or reach us online to speak with a disability discrimination attorney in a free and confidential consultation.
Employees Protected by the ADA Include Employees Who:
Suffer from a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
Have a record of such an impairment
Are being regarded as having such an impairment by his or her employer
Examples of impairments covered by the ADA include deafness, mobility impairments requiring a wheelchair or scooter, blindness, HIV/AIDS, bipolar disorder, cancer, diabetes, and alcoholism. There are, however, many other conditions that are considered a disability for the purposes of the ADA. Generally, temporary ailments are not considered a disability according to the ADA. Temporary ailments are conditions that last less than six months.
When an employee makes a request for an accommodation due to his or her disability, the employer must engage in an interactive process to provide a reasonable accommodation for the disability. The employer also cannot retaliate against an employee for requesting that accommodation or for filing a complaint of disability discrimination.
Disability Discrimination Attorneys Protect Disabled Employees in the Workplace
Disability discrimination attorneys help clients understand the complexities of laws that are intended to protect disabled individuals in the workplace. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees with disabilities from discrimination in employment. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that is substantially limiting to skills like standing, walking, hearing, seeing, learning, or speaking. The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities unless it causes undue hardship to the employer, such as significant difficulty or expense. Accommodations can include things like wheelchair ramps, modified work schedules, or specialized training. In short, disabled workers are entitled to any modifications that will help them work more effectively. An employee who can perform the essential functions of a job, even if it requires some accommodations, is protected by the ADA. Contact a Philadelphia disability discrimination lawyer if your employer’s failure to accommodate a disability has made it difficult to continue working.
When to contact a Disability Discrimination Lawyer for Employment Discrimination
Disability discrimination occurs when an employer treats a disabled employee unfavorably because of the disability. Disability discrimination on the job includes discriminating on the basis of physical or mental disability in employment-related activities. Specific examples include employee harassment based on a disability, being asked questions as a job applicant about past or current medical conditions, being terminated because of requested accommodations, and substantial physical barriers to the movement of disabled people within the workplace.
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your disability at work, you should talk to an experienced Philadelphia disability discrimination lawyer. A disability discrimination attorney in Philadelphia or Mount Laurel can help you decide whether your case is worth pursuing, negotiate an accommodation if necessary, or negotiate a settlement with your employer. A disability discrimination attorney may be able to help you recover back pay, compensatory damages, and attorney fees, and possibly punitive damages.
State laws may offer more protection than federal law. Contact our Philadelphia disability discrimination lawyers at 856-778-9700 to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions for your Disability Discrimination Lawyer
When you think of disability discrimination, you likely think of management using derogatory language or blatantly informing someone that their disability prevents them from accessing job opportunities. While these are certainly examples of disability discrimination, discriminatory practices can by much more nuanced and difficult to spot than you might realize. Just because a discriminatory act is not so obvious, it does not mean that it is acceptable under the law. Contact the disability discrimination lawyers at Zeff Law Firm to learn more.
What is the Definition of a Disability?
The main statute that protects individuals from disability discrimination is the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA. The ADA defines a person with a disability as an individual with a “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual.” This definition includes individuals who have a record of a physical impairment and thus covers individuals who may not currently have a disability. Lastly, the ADA includes individuals who do not have a disability but are “regarded as” having a disability. This includes individuals who have an impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities.
What Qualifies as Disability Discrimination?
Put into the simplest terms, disability discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the ADA treats an individual with a disability as defined under the statute unfavorably because of that individual’s disability. Some examples might include not hiring an individual because of their disability, limiting an individual’s access to promotions or paying a disabled employee less than others. Disability discrimination can also include failing to provide an individual with basic tools or amenities needed to perform their job that the entity is fully capable of providing.
What is a Reasonable Accommodation?
A reasonable accommodation is a change made that allows a person with a disability as defined under the ADA to perform the essential functions of that job and ultimately enjoy the same job opportunities as other employees. Changes may be implemented in a way that affect how the job is performed, to the overall work environment, to the hiring or application process, or to the job as a whole. A person with a disability must still be able to perform the essential functions of the job to be entitled to a reasonable accommodation. The request for a reasonable accommodation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some examples of reasonable accommodation may include:
Allowing a flexible schedule
Improving accessibility in the work area
Modify or adjust equipment or software needed to perform job duties
Modify or reassign job tasks
Reassigning an employee to a vacant but equal job position
How do you Prove Disability Discrimination?
Generally speaking, when you bring a disability discrimination case against an employer or other entity, there are three elements that you have to prove in order to have a successful case. First, you have to demonstrate that you have a disability that meets the definition under the ADA. Secondly, you have to demonstrate that you are qualified for the position, regardless of whether you need a reasonable accommodation to perform the job duties. For example, if you’re seeking employment opportunities as a graphic designer, you would be able to show that you are qualified for the job by presenting you college degree in graphic design and listing your prior experience and identifying other certifications or credentials. Lastly, you must be able to demonstrate that you experienced an adverse action because of your disability. You could do this by showing that you were passed over for a promotion opportunity because of your disability, despite your qualifications for that job. Contact the experienced disability discrimination lawyers at Zeff Law Firm to discuss your case.
When should I Take Action and Consult a Disability Discrimination Lawyer?
If you have a disability and have tried countless times to work with your employer to receive an accommodation that would allow you to perform your job better, it may be time to discuss your situation with a disability discrimination attorney. Additionally, if you suspect you have lost job opportunities or do not have access to the same benefits, pay raises, or rights as other employees, you may also want to consider talking to a disability discrimination attorney. A disability discrimination attorney from the Zeff Law Firm can discuss your work environment with you and help you determine if you have a claim against your employer for disability discrimination.
"Congress acknowledged that society's accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as are the physical limitations that flow from actual impairment."
Have Your Rights Been Violated?
Please contact our office today to speak with our Philadelphia and Mount Laurel disability discrimination attorneys.
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