Individuals living with disabilities are federally protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Meaning if someone has a disability, their employer cannot base any decisions or actions at work on that disability. Below, our New Jersey employment law team outlines what it looks like to be disabled at work and how your employer should accommodate you.
What Constitutes Disability?
Before looking at how your employer should accommodate your disability, it is important to understand what is considered a qualifying disability in the workplace. The Americans with Disabilities Act has very clear guidelines on this and explains that an individual must have a substantial impairment or record of substantial impairment.
These impairments can be physical and/or mental, that restricts or impairs major life activities like:
- Performing manual labor
Even if you suffer from a disability, are still able to perform your job duties without accommodations, you will still be protected against discrimination at your job.
What are Reasonable Accommodations?
Reasonable accommodations can be any tool, schedule adjustment, job duty alteration, or other change by an employer to help their employee to succeed in the workplace despite their disability. These accommodations must be requested by the employee, and they are not held responsible for funding their own accommodations.
While this may seem like a great financial burden placed on your employer, more than half of all requested accommodations typically don’t cost employers anything, while others come at one-time costs of usually no more than $500.
Here are some examples of accommodations that come at low cost or no cost at all:
- Adjusting the work schedule or employee’s start time
- A dedicated parking spot for the employee that is closer to the building’s entrance
- Rearranging the office space to be wheelchair accessible
- Implementing a color-coded filing system
- Switching job duties with another employee
There are also accommodations that can cost a bit more, including:
- Phones and keyboards featuring braille capabilities
- Screen-reading software
- Text telephones
- Modifying equipment controls to fit an employee’s impairment
- Amplified telephones
If You Are Discriminated Against for Your Disability
If you are being discriminated against at your job for your disability or your employer is refusing to reasonably accommodate your needs, reaching out to our experienced employment law team can help you recover damages for your employer’s treatment. The team at Burnham Douglass Attorneys At Law is dedicated to providing personalized and compassionate services to help you recover what you are owed.
To find out more about how we can help you, contact us through our website or give us a call at 856-751-5505 to schedule your consultation today!