Disability Discrimination Attorneys in New Jersey
Were You Mistreated at Work Because of a Disability?
People living with disabilities are a federally protected class of citizens under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This means that if you are someone who has a disability, your employers cannot base any decisions at work on that fact. If you experienced mistreatment at work because of your disability or request for reasonable accommodation, you could hold your employer accountable for violating your civil rights.
Burnham Douglass Attorneys At Law can help people seek fair and just compensation against an employer who violated your rights. We understand the stress, frustration, and humiliation you may feel in the wake of a single event or string of incidents that prompted you to seek legal support. Our disability discrimination attorneys in New Jersey will sensitively work with you to develop a personalized legal strategy. Then, we will relentlessly pursue your interests by holding those responsible for violating your rights accountable for their actions.
What Does Disability Discrimination Look Like?
Being mistreated because of a disability can be both covert and overt. Some forms of discrimination may be obvious, such as the use of derogatory language either in direct reference to the person with a disability or about people with disabilities in general. Physical and emotional forms of harassment can also be at play and appear as consistent requests for an employee to perform a task they are not capable of, or purposely creating obstacles that make it difficult to perform tasks with a disability.
Less obvious forms of disability discrimination can also appear as:
- Consistently passed over for promotion or hiring opportunities
- Singled-out for enforcement of certain company policies
- Exclusion from company events and outings
- Disregard for certain ADA compliance measures
If you think you may be experiencing unfair treatment at work, reach out to a disability discrimination attorney in New Jersey from Burnham Douglass Attorneys At Law as soon as possible!
What Is Considered a Qualifying Disability?
A headache or ankle sprain won’t necessarily qualify you for protection as a person with a disability. The ADA is very clear that one must have a substantial impairment or record of substantial impairment to qualify.
It may be a physical or mental disability that restricts or impairs major life activities such as the following and others:
- Performing manual labor
As long as you can perform essential job duties with or without reasonable accommodation, you may be protected against discrimination at work by the ADA by having a qualified disability. If, however, your disability would interfere with essential job duties and interference cannot be mitigated by reasonable accommodation, you may not be protected by ADA.
Do I Need to Show Proof of Disability to My Employer?
An employer may require that you show proof through a medical examination if the disability and need for the accommodation is not apparent. If your employer believes your medical documentation is not sufficient, he/she must communicate that to you in a prompt manner and request additional documentation before granting the accommodations.
What Is a Reasonable Accommodation?
A reasonable accommodation is any tool, adjustment to workspace or schedule, alteration of job duties, or another change implemented by an employer to make it possible for an employee with a disability to perform their essential duties. It must be requested by the employee and provided by the employer and at their cost. Employees are not responsible for affording their own reasonable accommodation.
Reasonable accommodations can be low-tech solutions that often cost employers nothing, such as:
- Providing a dedicated parking spot close to the entrance of a building
- Adjusting an employee’s start time or overall schedule
- Implementing a color-coded filing system
- Altering the layout of the office for wheelchair accessibility
- Exchanging certain duties with another employee
Reasonable accommodations may also pose considerable costs and involve technological solutions, such as:
- Screen-reading software
- Electronic adjustable-height desks
- Calculators with speech capability
- Braille-equipped keyboards and phones
- Amplified telephones
- Text telephones
- Modified equipment controls
How Much Can Reasonable Accommodations Cost?
According to Job Accommodation Network – a service provided by the U.S. Department of Labor – more than half of all requested accommodations typically cost employers nothing, while most of the rest came at one-time costs of less than $500.
There is, however, no statutory limit to how much value in reasonable accommodations an employee can request. If your employer is refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation for you to perform essential job duties, reach out to our disability discrimination attorneys in New Jersey for legal support.
What Can I Do If My Employer Refused Accommodations?
When your requests for accommodations have been denied by your employer, there are several steps you can take to protect your rights.
- Make sure that you document your requests by putting them in writing. Employers are required to work with employees through an interactive process to help them fulfill their job duties through a reasonable accommodation. Keeping a paper trail can provide you with supporting documentation for a claim.
- Contact an employment attorney. Your attorney can advocate on your behalf to demand the necessary accommodations for you. When an attorney is involved, employers are more likely to respond. Your attorney can also represent you during a claims process if an employer continues to refuse accommodation.
What Are the Remedies for a Disability Discrimination Claim?
Employees who have been refused disability accommodations by an employer can pursue remedies for lost wages, attorney fees, emotional distress, as well as reinstatement of their previous position.
In some cases where the employer's actions were considered egregious, punitive damages may be required.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
If you are experiencing disability discrimination at work, please reach out to Burnham Douglass Attorneys At Law for legal support. We can walk you through the process toward recovering damages for your employer’s unlawful treatment of you.
We offer free consultations and the possibility of same-day appointments made after normal business hours or over the weekend. We can facilitate meetings over the phone, in-person, or by videoconference.
Reach out to our disability discrimination attorneys in New Jersey right now by contacting us online for help. We also offer service in Spanish and Portuguese.
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I could not have been more pleased with the firm or our result.- Michelle M.C.
Both Michelle and Phil made me feel like I was a family member they were representing.- Robert K. Petroski
After meeting Michelle, she gave me the confidence I needed to fight for what I deserved.- Maria Marino
I never knew compassion, value and honesty could exist in an attorney until I met Philip.- Dan
She was always very prompt in her follow-up and developed a winning strategy for me.- James Runyon
Michelle Douglass is a straight shooter and fights for your rights.- Dave Daniels
Phil's service exceeded my expectations and I found him to be more responsive and sensitive to my situation than the previous lawyer I had used.- Abby
Ms. Douglass always returned my calls promptly as if I were the most valuable client among the many she represents.- Heather
I was helped by Michelle every step of the way, with guidance and answers. She is remarkable and I love her.- Joanne Imperatore
Ms. Douglass, I got a feeling of genuine concern, unlike that of the prior attorneys I had spoken to.- Kathy Jen
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