Can A New Jersey Employer Be Held Liable For Failure To Accommodate Your Disability?
The Americans Disabilities of Act (ADA) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) provide protections to disabled workers. An employer covered by the ADA or the LAD is prohibited from discriminating against an employee on the basis of an actual or perceived disability. The ADA and LAD also require employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for a disabled employees.
Failure to accommodate could give rise to a disability discrimination claim under the ADA and/or LAD. An employer that fails to accommodate a disability may be liable—though the specific circumstances always matter. Here, our Monmouth County failure to accommodate a disability attorney provides a more comprehensive overview of your rights, your responsibilities, and your options.
Background: What is a Reasonable Accommodation?
As a starting point, it is important to understand how the term “reasonable accommodation” is defined under the law. The ADA and LAD use a similar definition. A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment to the workplace environment and/or the way that work actually gets done to allow a qualified employee to enjoy fair and equitable opportunities despite their disability. An accommodation is only “reasonable” if it does not pose an undue hardship on the employer. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Changing to make workplace wheelchair accessible;
- Other modifications to the physical workplace to improve accessibility;
- Excuses from certain job duties, such as heavy lifting;
- Telework and/or a more flexible schedule; and
- Provision of specialized equipment.
Understanding the Good Faith Bargaining Process (No Specific Accommodation Required)
A key thing to understand about disability discrimination is that neither federal law nor state law requires covered employers in New Jersey to provide any specific accommodation. An employee has the right to disclose their disability status without fear of facing discrimination. Additionally, an employee has a right to propose/request a specific accommodation.
However, an employer is not obligated to provide any specific accommodation. Instead, the law imposes a different requirement on employers. Companies and organizations covered by the ADA or LAD must engage in a good faith, interactive bargaining process to work with a disabled employee to provide him or her with a reasonable accommodation that meets their specific needs.
Failure to accommodate is a cause of action that arises when a New Jersey employer fails to satisfy this legal requirement. Put another way, an employer may be held legally liable for failure to accommodate a disabled employee if it did not make a good faith effort to work with him or her to find a satisfactory reasonable accommodation.
Contact Our New Jersey Failure to Accommodate Disability Lawyer Today
At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New Jersey disability discrimination lawyer has the skills, legal knowledge, and proven experience to represent employees in failure to accommodate claims. If you believe that your employer failed to accommodate your disability in violation of the ADA, we are here to help. Contact us today for your free consultation. We represent employees in failure to accommodate disability discrimination claims in Monmouth County and throughout New Jersey.