New Jersey Disability Discrimination Lawyer
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was a landmark piece of legislation that enshrined important legal rights for millions of disabled Americans, including when it comes to employment. Together with the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), Title I of the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all aspects of employment, from hiring to termination and everything in between. At Poulos LoPiccolo, our dedicated team of employment law attorneys provides strong advocacy and legal representation for people who have been denied a job based on a real or perceived disability, or who have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against during their employment. Learn more below about how the law prohibits discrimination based on disability. If you’ve experienced discrimination in the workplace on the basis of a disability, contact our experienced New Jersey disability discrimination lawyers for a free consultation.
Who Is Covered Under the ADA and LAD?
The ADA applies to employees in workplaces with 15 or more employees. The NJLAD, on the other hand, covers all employers regardless of the size of their workforce. This is just one of the many ways in which the New Jersey law goes above and beyond federal law in protecting employees from disability discrimination. Our New Jersey disability discrimination lawyers can advise you on the important differences between the ADA and LAD and let you know when it is better to pursue your case at the state or federal level.
The ADA prohibits discrimination against a person with a disability, as well as people who have a history of a disability or are merely perceived as having a disability even if they are not actually disabled. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits the ability to perform one or more major life activities. Even someone who is only temporarily disabled is entitled to protection under the law.
The law protects a qualified individual with a disability from employment discrimination. A qualified individual with a disability is defined as someone who can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation could be some sort of job restructuring, a modified work schedule, addressing accessibility issues, or providing specialized equipment to enable the employee to perform the job. If an eligible employee requests an accommodation, the employer must engage in an interactive process with the worker to come up with a reasonable accommodation that meets the employee’s need without imposing an undue hardship on the employer.
How Poulos LoPiccolo Protects Employees From Disability Discrimination
If you are having trouble obtaining a reasonable accommodation in the workplace, or if you have been discriminated against at work because of your disability, Poulos LoPiccolo can help. Our experienced employment discrimination attorneys can represent you in talks with your employer or assist you in the process of filing a complaint with the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) or the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR). Either agency can investigate and take enforcement action against the employer. If they don’t, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf to get you the accommodation you were seeking, reinstatement if you were fired, or collect money damages for the harm caused to you by your employer’s discrimination. Illegal activities include:
- Failure to hire. Employers cannot ask you medical questions or require physical exams before making a conditional offer of employment. They can inquire about your ability to do the job, but they can’t refuse to hire you because of your disability and their own notions about how the disability might affect the job. They also cannot single you out for a physical exam after an offer of employment but must treat you the same as all applicants.
- Failure to engage in the interactive process. If you request an accommodation or the employer becomes aware you might need one, they have a duty to engage with you to see if a reasonable accommodation can be made.
- Wrongful termination. You can’t be fired simply because you have a disability, so long as you can perform the job with reasonable accommodation. You also cannot be paid less, given worse assignments, or otherwise treated adversely because of a real or perceived disability that doesn’t affect how you function on the job.
- Constructive discharge. Employers cannot harass you because of your disability, including making the work environment so uncomfortable or intolerable to you that you are forced to quit. This includes keeping co-workers, customers or others from harassing you or creating a hostile environment.
- Retaliation. You are protected by law for exercising your rights under the ADA or the LAD. You cannot be fired, demoted, transferred, have your hours cut, or otherwise be retaliated against for requesting an accommodation, filing a complaint with the EEOC or DCR, or cooperating with a workplace investigation.
New Jersey Disability Discrimination Lawyers Serving Ocean, Monmouth & Middlesex County
The law is clear that people with disabilities have a right to fully access and engage with all aspects of American life to the fullest extent of their abilities, including in public transportation and government activities, public accommodations, businesses and service providers, telecommunications, and employment. If you’ve been denied your rights in employment or suffered discrimination because of a disability, the New Jersey employment law attorneys at Poulos LoPiccolo will champion your cause and advocate for you with your employer, before government agencies, and in the courts. Don’t let yourself be a victim of discrimination based on your disability. Call our experienced NJ disability discrimination lawyers today.