Employment discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities is not only illegal but prohibited by the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The ADA covers all types of employers, from federal to private. Furthermore, the law affects all aspects of employment such as hiring, firing, promotions, training, benefits, and other employment issues. If you find that any of your rights regarding employment issues have been violated you should contact an experienced employment law attorney immediately.
What Qualifies as A Disability Under the ADA?
The ADA views a disability as any mental or physical impairment that substantially limits major life activities.
According to the ADA the term disability means:
- A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of a person’s major life activities such as: breathing, seeing, hearing, walking, sitting, standing, sleeping, caring for yourself, lifting, or learning.
- Having a record of an impairment.
- Being regarded as having an impairment.
New York State law provides broader protection for employees with disabilities than the federal law outlined in the ADA. The New York state statute includes conditions such as obesity and stress-related diseases or disorders within its definition of disability.
Further Protection Against Disability Discrimination in New York City
The New York City Human Rights Law applies only to residents of New York City. The law makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone with a disability, which includes HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, the New York City Human Rights Law broadens its definition of a disability to include any medical, mental, or psychological impairment or a history/record of impairment. These protections are much broader than the federal law outlined in ADA.
To be covered by ADA in the workplace, an individual must be qualified to properly perform the main functions of the job. You should have the appropriate education, skills, and experience to be able to perform the essential functions outlined in the job description. However, employers cannot disqualify you from the job, if your disability limits you from performing tasks that are not considered essential to the job.
Your ADA rights require that employers make reasonable accommodations or adjustments to the workplace that will allow you to perform your work successfully.
These reasonable accommodations may include:
- A restructure of training materials and work procedures
- Flexible or adjustable work schedules
- Modifications to current equipment and office space
- Accommodations for persons with disabilities
- Hiring language interpreters for speech assistance
An employer cannot ask a current employee or potential hire if they possess a disability. This question would be inappropriate and illegal. However, the employer may ask a person if they can perform the major duties of the position. Your answer will help the employer know if they need to create a reasonable accommodation for you to perform the job.
What To Do If An Employer Is Discriminating Against You Due to a Disability
If your employer (or former employer) has wrongfully terminated due to a disability or if any of your employment rights have been violated, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact the Law Offices of Joseph & Norinsberg. Their lawyers will provide an honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If your case merits going to court, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Joseph & Norinsberg will work diligently to help you find the justice you deserve.
Contact the Law Offices of Joseph & Norinsberg at (212) JUSTICE or at [email protected] for a free initial consultation.