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Disability Discrimination

New York Attorneys Skilled in Representing Employees

People with disabilities often lead typical lives and are able to work in many different positions. Sadly, though, some employers refuse to hire people who have disabilities or treat them unfairly in the workplace. Numerous laws protect people from unjust treatment due to a disability, however, and victims of discriminatory acts in the workplace are often able to pursue claims against their employers. If you faced discrimination at work because of a disability, the New York disability discrimination lawyers at Gerstman Schwartz can assess the circumstances surrounding your unjust treatment and determine your possible damages. We regularly represent people in disability discrimination claims, and if you engage our services, we will fight tirelessly to help you seek a successful outcome.

Laws Barring Disability Discrimination

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the ADA) bars employers from discriminating against qualified people with disabilities regarding hiring, firing, promotions, compensation, job application procedures, and other conditions, terms, and privileges of employment. The ADA applies to employers that have at least 15 employees. The New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) and the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) protect people with disabilities from discrimination as well. Specifically, they both state that it constitutes an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to discriminate against a person regarding compensation or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or to refuse to hire a person because of an actual or perceived disability. Under the NYCHRL, it is also unlawful for an employer to advise a person that a position is not available when it is in fact open, due to the person’s disability. A disability discrimination attorney in New York can hold an employer accountable for violating any of these laws.

Disabilities as Defined by Law

Each law dealing with disability discrimination defines a disability slightly differently. The ADA defines a disability as a mental or physical impairment that significantly inhibits one or more major activities of life. It includes people who have a record of having a disability, even if they no longer have one, and people who are regarded as having a disability. The NYSHRL defines a disability as a physical, mental, or medical impairment that results from certain conditions and prevents the exercise of a normal function of the body or can be demonstrated by medically accepted diagnostic techniques. Similar to the ADA, the NYSHRL states that a record of an impairment or being regarded as having an impairment constitutes a disability as well. Lastly, under the NYCHRL, a disability is broadly defined as a psychological, physical, mental, or medical impairment or a record or history of such an impairment. A New York disability discrimination attorney can advise you on the law that best applies to your case.

Under the ADA and the NYSHRL, an employee bringing a disability discrimination claim must allege that they suffer from a disability within the meaning of the applicable law, and they were qualified to perform the essential tasks of the job, with or without an accommodation, but they nonetheless suffered an adverse employment action because of their disability. Under the NYCHRL, an employee merely must show that they were qualified, with or without an accommodation, but were treated less favorably because of their disability.

Reasonable Accommodations for Employees With Disabilities

Employers generally must provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, and if they refuse to do this, they can be held liable. A reasonable accommodation is a modification to the work environment that allows someone to perform a job or otherwise enjoy the benefits of employment. An employee pursuing a claim based on a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation must show that he or she suffered from a disability and requested a reasonable accommodation, but the request was denied. Notably, employers do not need to provide reasonable accommodations if doing so would cause them to suffer an undue hardship.

Speak to a Knowledgeable Disability Discrimination Lawyer in New York

If you were treated unjustly by your employer because of your disability, you could be owed compensation, and you should speak to an attorney. At Gerstman Schwartz, our knowledgeable New York attorneys can assess your potential claims and help you pursue the best legal result available under the facts of your case. We frequently represent people in discrimination lawsuits in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. You can reach us to set up a meeting by calling our New York City office at (212) 227-7070 or our Garden City office at (516) 880-8170 or using our form online.

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Thank you so much for standing up to my employer at a time when I couldn't do it myself. Your support and professionalism is so greatly appreciated. R.L.
I was scared to fight my employer. I knew it would be an uphill battle, and I wasn’t sure I could win against an organization with their resources. But Gerstman Schwartz gave me courage, confidence and they delivered on every promise. Ashley
Mr. Gerstman helped me double my severance pay and extend my health insurance. I cannot thank him and Gerstman Schwartz enough. Lenny B.