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New York City Disability Discrimination Lawyers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 1 in 4 workers have a disability. Each year, disabled workers contribute more to the economy than ever before. Helpfully, various federal, state, and city laws protect these workers from discrimination in employment, including protection from harassment and retaliation.

The attorneys at Carey & Associates, P.C. have a thriving employment discrimination practice. We are aware of how pervasive harassment and discrimination are and how hard it is to bring this unacceptable behavior to light. Many workers remain silent because they fear no one will take their complaints seriously.

Call us. A New York City disability discrimination lawyer at our firm can discuss your workplace experience and identify your legal remedies.

Important Laws Protecting Workers in New York City

One important federal law is The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, called the ADA. This federal law protects workers and job applicants from discrimination in employment.

For example, an employer cannot consider an applicant’s disability when making employment-related decisions, including such issues as hiring, termination, pay, benefits, promotion, job assignments, or transfers. In short, any condition of employment cannot involve discrimination.

The ADA also requires that employers afford reasonable accommodations for a disabled worker. This might include modifying the work schedule or the work environment. Employers do not have to grant every request, but they should agree unless the accommodation would create undue hardship.

The federal ADA only applies to businesses with at least 15 employees. The state and New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) apply to smaller businesses. They also prohibit discrimination and harassment and require reasonable accommodations. For those in NYC, the city law is often the most relevant.

Do You Have a Disability?

You can only seek protection of these antidiscrimination laws if you have a disability. Generally, the following qualify if they limit your daily activities:

  • Blindness and vision impairments
  • Deafness and impaired hearing
  • Learning disabilities
  • Impaired major bodily functions
  • Physical disabilities that limit mobility or balance
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Mental health conditions

Each law defines disability somewhat differently, which is why it is key to meet with an attorney. New York City’s law provides the broadest definition of disability. It is important to point out that the law also prohibits any discrimination against someone for a “perceived” disability—that is, a worker might not be disabled but an employer thinks they are and takes a negative action based on that misperception.

When Can You Sue for Disability Discrimination?

An employer should not take any negative employment action against an employee or job applicant because they are disabled. Common examples include:

  • Termination
  • Passing over for promotion
  • Refusing to hire
  • Unfavorable schedules
  • Lack of training opportunities
  • Lower pay and/or benefits
  • Refusal to provide reasonable accommodation

In sum, if you suffered a negative change to a term or condition of employment because of bias, then you might be able to sue.

Are You Entitled to a Reasonable Accommodation?

Many workers can perform a job if it is slightly modified. The law requires reasonable accommodations, which might include:

  • A change in work schedule
  • Transfer to a different location
  • Modifying job duties
  • Allowing leave to receive medical care
  • Modifying the office or jobsite, such as buying a larger computer screen
  • Allowing a worker to sit instead of stand

An employer need not automatically agree to an accommodation. In fact, the law does not require any modification that would constitute an “undue hardship,” such as one that is too expensive or which dramatically alters job duties.

Still, many employers automatically say “no” because they don’t think they have to be reasonable. Contact our law firm to discuss whether you can request an accommodation.

Harassment Based on a Disability

Harassment is also prohibited by federal, state, and city laws. Harassment changes the terms and conditions of employment and is therefore illegal.

Many disabled workers are harassed by bosses or coworkers. Offensive conduct might include:

  • Mocking or mimicking someone’s disability
  • Jokes
  • Epithets
  • Offensive nicknames (“crip” and so on)
  • Threats or intimidation based on disability

You should immediately reach out to Carey & Associates, P.C. to discuss any harassing conduct, regardless of who it comes from.

Contact Our NYC Disability Discrimination Attorney

Our law firm can review the facts and outline different methods of remedying the discrimination. At our firm, we have filed many discrimination charges with state and federal agencies, and we know what deadlines apply. We can discuss various remedies, including financial compensation, reinstatement, promotion, or punitive damages. Call us to find out more, (914) 705-5427.

Client Testimonials

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Mark and his team at Carey & Associates are incredibly knowledgeable about Employment Law and have walked me through every step of the way. Their approach and guidance has been extremely effective in dealing with my case. They instill a sense of confidence by laying out the facts, caselaw, and risk assessment to help make well informed decisions. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for an Employment Attorney.


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