Disability Discrimination

Fighting For Your Best Interest

Disability Discrimination

Understanding Your Rights Against Disability Discrimination

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the law prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment. When an employer treats a qualified individual unfavorably simply because he or she suffers from a disability, this is an example of disability discrimination. Unless providing reasonable accommodation to such an employee causes undue hardship for an employer, the disabled employee must be accommodated.

Definition of a Disability

Not all individuals who have a medical condition are protected by the law. A person must be qualified for the job and have a disability as defined by law. A person may prove this in one of the following ways:

  • If a person has a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity, such as walking or hearing, that person may be considered disabled.
  • If a person has a history of disability, such as cancer that is in remission, that person may be considered disabled.
  • If a person is believed to have either a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last six months or less, that person may be considered disabled.

What Qualifies as “Disability Discrimination” in New York City?

Disability discrimination covers a wide variety of situations where an employer fails to make a “reasonable accommodation” requested by an employee with a physical or mental impairment. Federal, state, and New York City law all hold an employer liable for failure to accommodate when four conditions are met:

  • The plaintiff has a “disability,” as defined by the law.
  • The employer is covered by law and received “notice” of the employee's disability.
  • The employee is capable of performing the “essential functions” of their job, provided he or she receives the “reasonable accommodation.”
  • The employer refused to make said accommodation.

Employment Rights and Disability Accommodations

During the application phase, employers are not allowed to ask applicants medical questions, request medical exams, or disclose disabilities. Employers may ask potential employees if they can perform the job and how they would perform it.

Once a job offer has been made, the law permits employers to condition the offer of employment on answers to certain medical questions and a medical exam. However, this is contingent on all new employees receiving the same treatment.

After an employee is hired and begins to work for an employer, medical questions may only be asked if an employee makes a request for accommodation or if the employer believes that the employee is unable to perform the job successfully or safely due to his or her disability.

Speak With a New York City Disability Discrimination Lawyer Today

Disability discrimination cases are complicated, primarily because they require an intensive, fact-specific inquiry into the circumstances of both the employee's disability and the employer's response (or failure to respond). This is not the type of litigation you want to start without seeking the advice and assistance of a qualified New York disability discrimination attorney. If you have been the victim of any form of workplace discrimination, contact the Law Offices of Mahir S. Nisar today at (646) 760-6493 to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team.

Schedule Your Consultation with our NYC employment lawyers today at (646) 760-6493.

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