employment lawyers nj

Disability Discrimination Lawyer

While discrimination in the workplace continues, there is rarely “smoking gun” evidence of its existence. Likewise, it rarely leaves a paper trail. Instead, discrimination often takes more subtle forms. An employee’s chance of success in a discrimination claim increases exponentially when they enlist the help of a highly experienced attorney. To win disability discrimination cases, attorneys must possess detailed knowledge of employment laws and the skills to gather documentation and evidence.  

It is important for employees to be aware of their rights to not face discrimination for mental or physical disabilities. Employers that disregard this right are in violation of the law and should be held accountable. 

Are you facing discrimination on the basis of disabilities? Speak with a New Jersey disability discrimination lawyer. At Schall & Barasch, we handle all employment law cases, including cases of disability discrimination.

New Jersey ADA Lawyers

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prevents employers from discriminating against both current employees and applicants with any type of disability. This includes discrimination in aspects of:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Fringe benefits
  • Promotion
  • Pay

The ADA also protects employees from retaliation from making a complaint. 

If your employer employs at least 15 people, it must follow the ADA. They must adhere to these rules and regulations. Employers of people with disabilities must also make reasonable accommodations for them. For example, if an employee uses a wheelchair, the employer must make sure there are ramps at any place where there are stairs. 

At Schall & Barasch, our New Jersey ADA lawyers fight to protect your employment rights. We are passionate about standing up to employers that try to break crucial employment laws.

To prove you have faced discrimination due to a disability, you must meet certain criteria. First, you must be sure your impairment meets the legal requirements for a disability according to the law. We will explain more of what these disabilities may entail below. 

If your disability meets the requirements, you should attempt to document any instance of discrimination. Write it down or take pictures or videos. This can help your case later.

The best way to prove disability discrimination is to enlist the help of an experienced employment law attorney. Disability discrimination lawyers are the best resource available to you to address these disputes. They possess the skills and knowledge required to protect your rights and prove discrimination at both the federal and state levels.

The ADA protects an individual with any kind of mental or physical impairment that limits their ability to perform a major life activity. A major life activity includes everyday, basic tasks such as hearing, seeing, walking, bending, or communicating. It also includes any major bodily functions. This may be any of the following functions:

  • Neurological or brain functions
  • Respiratory functions
  • Circulatory functions
  • Digestive functions
  • Bowel or bladder functions
  • Immune system functions
  • Normal cell growth
  • Endocrine functions
  • Reproductive functions

It is also illegal for an employer to discriminate against you based on any previous disability. For example, if an employee is in remission from cancer, they cannot not be discriminated against in any way. 

In addition, it is also illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis that they believe them to have a disability, even if they don’t. If the employer incorrectly believes that someone possesses a disability, that person is protected as well.

Disability discrimination can appear in many different forms. People face discrimination for anything from paralysis to allergies. Others are discriminated against for intellectual disabilities or impairments. The ADA does not provide an inclusive list for all of the disabilities that meet these requirements. Instead, it simply defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.” 

Further, the ADA defines a physical or mental impairment as any “physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems.”

Though there is no formal list of the type of disabilities covered, there are some that one can easily consider a disability within the context of the law. This may include any of the following:

  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Mobility impairments that require use of a wheelchair
  • Partially or completely missing limbs
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • HIV infection

Obvious discrimination against one or more of these disabilities directly violates the ADA.

A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment by an employer that allows a person with a disability to perform the essential functions of his or her job. This could entail changes to the application or hiring process, the work environment, or to how a job might be performed. These adjustments allow individuals with disabilities access to equal opportunities that enable them to find work and successfully perform tasks to the same extent as people without disabilities. 

The ADA requires reasonable accommodations with respect to three aspects of employment:

  • Application process
    • Employers must ensure equal opportunity in the application process.
  • Job performance
    • Employers must enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions of their job.
  • Benefits and privileges of employment
    • An employee with a disability must enjoy equal access to the benefits and privileges of employment. 

As long as a person is qualified for a job, they are entitled to “reasonable” accommodations for their disabilities. An accommodation is “reasonable” if it does not create an undue hardship or direct threat. Employers may make reasonable accommodations with the following actions:

  • Allowing service animals
  • Providing an aid or a service to increase access
    • Modifying a restroom or the layout of a workspace
    • Installing a ramp.
  • Allowing a flexible work schedule
    • Adjusting work schedules to allow employees with chronic medical conditions to go to medical appointments. The employee may be permitted to complete work at alternate times or locations. 
  • Changing job tasks
  • Providing reserved parking spots
  • Reassigning an employee to a vacant position
    • If an employee may no longer perform the essential functions of their job, an employer may reassign them. Employers do not need to create a new position for a disabled employee and the disabled employee must be qualified for the other position. 
  • Providing or adjusting equipment, software, or a product
    • Allowing deaf employees to use videophones to facilitate communication.
    • Providing screen reading or magnifying software.
    • Ensuring all computer software is accessible.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states employers shouldn’t be spending too much time determining if employees meet the definition of a disability. Instead, they should focus on the accommodation requested. If it’s reasonable and can be provided without undue hardship, the employer should work to accommodate it. 

If the employer doesn’t accommodate the requests or if he or she discriminates against an employee with disabilities, the employer may file a lawsuit. However, before suing, you should take the complaints up with the company first. You are not required to file a complaint with the EEOC. Instead, we recommend requesting a free consultation with a disability discrimination attorney.

Before making a complaint or going to an outside authority,  it may be helpful to get an attorney if you feel you’re being discriminated against. The general rule of thumb is “the earlier, the better.” As soon as you notice discriminatory behavior toward your disability, you should at the very least request a consultation with a lawyer to see if you have a case.

Even before filing a lawsuit, it may be helpful to get an attorney if you feel you’re facing discrimination. The general rule of thumb is “the earlier, the better.” As soon as you notice discriminatory behavior toward your disability, get a free consultation with a worker discrimination lawyer in New Jersey. They will evaluate your case to see if it will be worth it for you to sue your employer.

Contact New Jersey Disability Discrimination Lawyers Schall & Barasch

If you believe you’ve been discriminated against on account of your disability, you need Schall & Barasch on your side. Contact our firm today to see how we can help you in your case. Click the link here to fill out our online questionnaire or feel free to call us at 856-914-9200.

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