Disabled persons belong in the workforce too. Federal and State laws grant them the same rights and privileges the non-disabled workers have and, on some occasions, enhance these privileges in order to level the playing field for disabled and non-disabled employees. Yet, some employers and coworkers do not respect disabled workers and even discriminate against them.
Many disabled workers cannot recognize the discrimination they may be experiencing. That’s why we created this article – to present you with disability discrimination examples and education you about your options.
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Also, disabled employees often feel inferior to other employees as well as employers and hesitate to speak up against discrimination. They are used to being treated unequally in some situations, hence the suffering. But it must stop.
If you or a loved one face disability discrimination in the workplace, make sure to call a New York employment lawyer to discuss your case. The laws are on the side of workers facing disability discrimination in the workplace and you need guidance by an attorney to lead you toward finding justice.
The attorneys at Law Office of Yuriy Moshes can assist you with your case by providing you advice based on many years of experience in negotiations and lawsuits in New York courtrooms. Call us today at 888-445-0234 for a free initial consultation. We will have a confidential conversation where you’ll explain to us the circumstances of your particular case and we will present you with your options. We’ll get to work as soon as you call us.
What is Employee Disability Discrimination?
Employee disability discriminations encompass different ways of unfair treatment of an employee due to their disability. It may include inaccessibility to jobs, inaccessibility to businesses or buildings, or harassment in the workplace.
It occurs when an entity covered under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) or Section 504 treat unfairly a person due to:
- Their disability
- Their history of disability
- Being associated with someone with a disability.
Disability discrimination in the workplace examples may vary greatly. They depend on factors such as type of disability, employer’s behavior, co-worker’s or supervisor’s behavior, type of job, and others. People with disabilities go through various forms of unfair treatment and two cases of employee disability discrimination are never the same.
That’s why it is wise to discuss your particular case with an employment lawyer and get advice on the nature of the case and what you should do next. But in the meantime, read the disability discrimination in the workplace examples in the rest of the article.
You are likely asking yourself the question “Can I sue my employer for disability discrimination?” Chances are that you can. Just read the following examples to get an idea of what is disability discrimination and then call a lawyer to get specific answers to your questions.
Disability Discrimination Examples
To understand what disability discrimination means or whether you have any chance with your employee disability discrimination lawsuit, first you need to learn:
- Disability discrimination examples
- What is direct disability discrimination?
- Indirect disability discrimination in the workplace examples
- Discrimination in hiring as one of the disability discrimination in the workplace examples
- Discrimination due to past disability
- Failure to reasonably accommodate a disabled employee
- Harassing someone with a disability at work is employee disability discrimination
- Declining a job offer due to family member’s disability
- Disability discrimination by perception
- Americans with Disabilities Act and how it works in disability discrimination cases
What is Direct Disability Discrimination?
Direct disability discrimination occurs when your disability leads to unfair treatment compared to your non-disabled colleagues in the very same circumstances. Both disabled and non-disabled workers have the same work-related rights and privileges, including wages, vacation time, promotion, employment benefits, etc. If the employer doesn’t treat all employees who work under the same circumstances equally, that constitutes direct disability discrimination.
You can prove direct disability discrimination by presenting the court with evidence that the employer behaves differently with you due to your disability. For example, the employer may give a warning to a worker who has lost them some money but punish financially the disabled employee.
According to the New York disability case law, including the examples of violation of the ADA, the burden of proof is on the disabled person. You’ll have to prove that:
- You have a disability
- You have been treated unfairly compared to other employees
- The unfair treatment was a result of your disability.
Indirect Disability Discrimination in the Workplace Examples
Indirect disability discrimination in New York occurs more often than you may imagine, mostly because people don’t know how to recognize it properly. Indirect disability discrimination happens when there are rules, practices, and policies that apply to everyone equally, but somehow put disabled persons into an unfair and disadvantaged position.
A good example of indirect disability discrimination is requiring a driving license for the job post, which automatically puts disabled persons in a disadvantageous position. However, if the employer proves that such a requirement is justified, then he or she won’t be at fault.
Indirect discrimination is often subtle and, in some cases, may be unintentional. However, the difference between intentional and unintentional discrimination is blurry and you should challenge it, no matter what disability discrimination scenario you are in.
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If you are wondering whether you or a loved one are a victim, remember that talking to a New York employment lawyer is the safest way to clarify your doubts and decide what further steps to take. Employers sometimes seek ways to get around it, but victims should not remain silent.
Discrimination in Hiring as One of the Disability Discrimination in the Workplace Examples
Disability discrimination during the recruitment process is easily noticeable. It occurs when your potential employer chooses another candidate just because they are not disabled, and you are.
Imagine that you have applied for a job for which you meet all the requirements. The employer schedules an interview, where they figure out that you have some form of disability or that you are taking care of a family member with a disability. Then, despite you being the best candidate, they choose another candidate because they won’t have to deal with issues arising you’re your disability. Such employment disability discrimination is punishable under ADA workplace discrimination provisions. Everyone must be treated equally during the recruitment process and if your potential employers fail to do so due to a reason from ADA, then you may have the grounds to sue.
Discrimination Due to Past Disability
If your disability ceased to exist, it doesn’t mean that your discrimination issues have come to an end. You may be discriminated against due to a disability from your past as well. For example, if you have survived cancer and you are back in the workforce, the employer may not promote you as deserved because of the risk of relapse. Or they may deprive you of some health insurance benefits because it is going to cost them more.
The implications of disability discrimination are always hard for the employee, even if the disability doesn’t exist anymore. That’s why the ADA protects formerly-disabled workers and equips them with tools to fight against unfair treatment. If you are in such a situation in New York, don’t hesitate to call a New York disability discrimination lawyer to help you navigate through the procedure and find the justice you deserve.
Failure to Reasonably Accommodate an Employee Disability
The employer must make an effort to accommodate a disabled employee in a way that allows them to do the job, as long as it is reasonable. The failure to make such accommodation is a form of discrimination.
Examples of failure to accommodate an employee disability may include not placing them in a workplace that suits their abilities or not adjusting the workplace on the needs arising from disabilities. The latter may include adjustments related to:
- Special keyboards for blind persons
- Special chairs for people with back and spine injuries
- Changing working hours
- A designated car parking space
- Modifying and adjusting performance targets
The list of possible adjustment is endless. It depends largely on the type of disability you have and the resources available to your employer. Having said that, you should know that the adjustments must be reasonable. The employer has the right to refuse a certain adjustment if that causes unreasonable costs to them.
Harassing Someone with Disability at Work
Disability discrimination policies prohibit disability harassment at the workplace, yet our former clients have had problems with such hostile behavior. Having a policy in place is never enough, so make sure to keep your co-workers and your employers accountable and consider legal action against them if they harass you or a loved one due to a disability.
To give you an idea of what the laws protect you against, here are the most common examples of disability harassment at the workplace:
- Inappropriate name calling of the disabled worker
- Telling jokes aimed to hurt the disabled person
- Asking them to do work they are incapable to do because of the disability
- Physical or verbal threats
- Offensive comments
If it happens only once, it is not disability discrimination. But if it keeps happening and creates a hostile work environment, you should take action before letting the adverse effects of the harassment take over your life.
Declining a Job Offer to Someone Due to Family Member’s Disability
Family member’s disability requires your special attention, but some employers don’t like that. They want their employees only for themselves and do not tolerate if the employee has to take care of a loved one. That’s why some employers do not give job offers to people like you.
Even though an employer hasn’t employed you yet, refusing to give you an offer you deserve constitutes disability discrimination at work if the lack of offer is due to a disability of your family member. Actually, these have become some of the most prevalent employment law disability discrimination cases in the last few years. Some employers manage to figure out if there is someone you are taking care of and make the employment decision based on that fact. ADA prohibits this.
If you are declined a job offer that you deserve due to a family member’s disability, a lawsuit is an option.
Perceived Disability Discrimination
Perceived disability discrimination occurs when you are discriminated based on a false belief that you are disabled or have some health issue. That’s why it is also known as invisible disabilities discrimination.
People often have prejudices due to health issues, including stuttering, diabetes, HIV, introversion, and others. Employers may relate these with disabilities and inability to work. However, these false beliefs lead to discriminating behavior.
To prove perceived disability discrimination at work you need to show that:
- Your employer, supervisor, or co-worker has false beliefs that you are disabled, and
- You were treated unfairly due to those beliefs.
Americans with Disabilities Act and How It Works in Disability Discrimination Cases
Before filing a disability discrimination lawsuit, your ADA workplace discrimination case has to go through a certain procedure in order to qualify for a lawsuit.
First, if possible, you have to request your employer to refrain from disability discrimination acts. If they fail to do it, you need to file charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or more commonly known as the “EEOC.”
Only after the EEOC has issued a right to sue letter, you may proceed with a federal lawsuit for employment discrimination. Make sure you talk to your New York ADA discrimination attorney to discuss what’s best for you. Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, your lawyer will help you decide whether it is best to get compensation through mediation or a lawsuit.
What Can You Be Awarded in a Disability Discrimination Lawsuit?
When your lawyer wins your disability discrimination lawsuit for you, two things may occur thereafter. First, the employer may be ordered to remove the discriminating circumstances from the workplace.
Second, you’ll be awarded some form of financial compensation. You’ll be compensated for the lost wages, lost benefits, as well as for stress and emotional pain.
Here is an example to give you an idea: if you earn $65,000 per year and you’ve been denied a job position that brings $90,000, you are entitled to compensation of the $25,000 difference for the time between the denial and the lawsuit. If a whole year has passed between these two dates, you’ll be compensated the full amount of $25,000 because that’s what you would have earned if you were not discriminated. If your contract has been terminated due to disability, you’ll be compensated the full amount that you would have earned, which in our example is $65,000.
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To learn more about the particular disability discrimination lawsuit or settlement amount that you could get, talk to a New York employment lawyer for help.
In addition to this compensation, you are entitled to recovery for the lost work-related benefits and for the stress and emotional pain you’ve been through due to the discrimination.
Disability Discrimination Examples – FAQ
Q: What constitutes disability discrimination? *
A: Disability discrimination is any act by an employer who treats a qualified individual unfairly due to the disability. The discriminatory behavior can be against an employee who has a disability, who have had a disability in the past, or who has a close person with a disability. That close person may be a partner, a family member, or another close person.
Q: Can I sue my employer for disability discrimination? *
A: The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) strictly prohibits disability discrimination in the workplace. If you want to sue under the ADA, however, you cannot go straight to court. You have to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a similar agency first. Only when the procedures in front of them conclude you’ll get the right to sue.
Q: Can you ask for proof of disability? *
A: The worker has to prove the disability. Having said that, if you want a reasonable accommodation for a disability that is not obvious, it is up to you to request it and provide documentation as evidence to your employer. If you or a loved one are dealing with mental disabilities, you should be aware that employees will usually have to reveal their conditions and need for modifications sooner or later.
If you were wondering what are some examples of reasonable accommodation in the workplace, our working experience has shown us that it may include change of a job position or providing additional assistance on the job post in order to allow you do the job despite having the disability.
Q: What are some examples of reasonable accommodation in the workplace? *
A: Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:
- part-time or modified work schedules
- accessible and assistive technologies
- ensuring computer software is accessible
- acquiring or modifying equipment
- providing qualified readers or interpreters
- making existing facilities accessible
- job restructuring
- changing tests, training materials, or policies
- physical changes
- accessible communications
- policy enhancements, and others.
We understand that having a disability puts you in a difficult situation. Having to do the same job as your non-disabled colleagues is hard enough already and the employer must not discriminate against you. That must stop as soon as possible.
Remember that you are in a much better position if an attorney represents you in a lawsuit. Attorneys work on cases like yours every single day and know all the ins and outs of the disability discrimination procedures. They may also present you with other disability discrimination examples like yours and show you what can be done about it.
The Law Office of Yuriy Moshes will help you with your disability discrimination case and make sure that you’ll receive justice and proper compensation. Law Office of Yuriy Moshes help victims in the greater New York City area including all of its boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island) as well as Northern New Jersey, Long Island, and Upstate New York.
Call us today at 888-445-0234. The initial consultation is free.