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Discrimination against people with disabilities
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Despite federal protection of the rights of persons with disabilities under the American Disability Act (ADA), discrimination against persons with disabilities happens regularly in the workplace. It is illegal to discriminate a disabled person.
Suppose you feel that you have been discriminated because of your disability or are constantly face discrimination against people with disabilities at work. In that case, you should contact a lawyer for disability discrimination as soon as possible.



What Disability Discrimination Means

Disability discrimination is unfair treatment in the workplace due to a disability. In other words, disability discrimination occurs when an employer makes an important hiring decision based on an employee's disability rather than skills, qualifications, or productivity.
In addition, disability discrimination laws also prohibit harassment of people with disabilities. Employers may be indirectly responsible for disability harassment if the employer knows or should have known that harassment has occurred and has not taken action.
What laws prohibit discrimination in employment based on disability

The ADA prohibits an employer from refusing to hire, fire, demote, reduce wages, reassign, or otherwise deny employee benefits in the workplace because of that employee's disability. In addition, many state and local laws also protect people with disabilities from workplace discrimination. For example, New York State and New York City's human rights laws provide protection against discrimination against people with disabilities.

ADA outlaws job discrimination by companies with 15 or more employees to discriminate against people with disabilities or perceived disability. New York State and New York City human rights laws additionally apply to all employers who employ 4 to 14 workers.

The ADA and most state discrimination laws protect only skilled workers with disabilities and workers who are “considered” or “perceived” to be disabled.



Who is Protected Under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental disorder that severely restricts one or more essential activities. This term also applies to any employee considered by the employer to be disabled, even if the employee does not actually meet the definition.

This broad definition means that many people who do not consider themselves to be disabled can be recruited and still fall under the ADA. The law applies to both full-time and freelance workers.



Do you have an “additional qualification” for this Job?

Discrimination occurs when an employer makes decisions about an employee because of his disability, even though the employee is qualified to do the job. “Additional qualifications” means that an employee can perform the basic functions of a given position with some or no accommodation.

Suppose the employed person cannot perform the basic functions of the vacancy due to disability. In that case, the employer's refusal will not be considered discrimination against the disabled person.
What is accommodation? 

The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees they know have a physical or mental disability.

Examples of reasonable accommodations might include:

  • Changing the employee's work schedule;
  • Providing employees with disabilities with the opportunity to take additional breaks;
  • Ensuring the accessibility of facilities for people with disabilities (for example, creating ramps);
  • Modification of tests and training materials for the characteristics of a disabled worker;
  • Purchase of new equipment;
  • Changes in company policy.
  • Examples of discrimination against people with disabilities
  • The following are some of the most common types of disability discrimination:
  • Refusal to interview a person with a disability applying for a vacant position;
  • Refusal to hire a person with a disability after confirming that the applicant's disability will not cause significant workplace difficulties;
  • Dismissal of an employee after he becomes disabled;
  • Refusal to promote a disabled worker for fear that their disability will impair performance at higher levels;
  • Underpayment or failure to give bonuses to disabled employees;
  • Redistribution of disabled people to less desirable jobs (even if the employer believes that he is acting in the best interests of the employee);
  • Harassment of people with disabilities in the workplace, through jokes or derogatory comments;
  • Not retraining and not providing housing for workers who have become disabled during work;
  • Failure to provide an employee with reasonable breaks during work hours to treat a disability, such as allowing breaks for medication;
  • Refusal to purchase additional equipment that could help a worker with a disability.
What really matters is not the actual disability of the worker or job seeker, but whether he is a qualified person and capable of doing the job.
What is Perceived as Disability Discrimination?

The ADA also prohibits perceived discrimination based on disability. This area of law has undergone significant changes recently.

Perceived disability discrimination occurs when an employer believes that an employee has a disability and discriminates against it on that basis, regardless of whether the employer is right or the suspicion of disability is false.

Perceived disability discrimination can occur either because the employee has a past disability status or because the employer mistakenly believes that a particular condition constitutes a de facto disability.

For example, if a job applicant has a record of childhood asthma but no longer suffers from shortness of breath or other respiratory problems, it would be illegal not to hire that candidate solely because of asthma-related issues.
Many of our clients find the concept of perceived disability discrimination confusing. If you are unclear about your ADA rights, call a New York Disability Discrimination Lawyer to learn more about your case.
Evidence of discrimination against people with disabilities

Proof of disability discrimination requires two things: understanding how the court analyzes evidence and understanding what evidence is needed. New York disability discrimination lawyer can help you in it.

Direct evidence is a piece of indubitable evidence, such as an email an employee accidentally found containing derogatory comments about a disabled employee or a letter from an employer explaining that a disabled employee was fired because of his disability. Although rare, this type of evidence is compelling evidence of discrimination.



In the absence of direct evidence, discrimination can be proven through circumstantial evidence, which is evidence-based on a finding linking it to discrimination.

Examples of circumstantial evidence include:

  • The short time between the moment when the employer learned about the disability and the time of negative action when hiring;
  • Evidence that non-disabled employees in the same job are treated differently than disabled employees;
  • Evidence that a disabled worker was recruited but replaced, or that the position was taken over by someone less qualified was not disabled.
If you have been the victim of workplace discrimination because of a disability, our New York discrimination lawyers can protect your rights.
Human Rights Advocacy Firm lawyers are ready to defend your interests in any unfair situations where an individual's rights and legitimate interests are violated.
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