Famighetti & Weinick PLLC is an employment law firm on Long Island. Our Long Island disability discrimination lawyers are ready to stand up for your workplace rights.
Employees who are disabled in New York should feel included, not secluded in the workplace. Federal, state, and city laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees or applicants because of an actual or perceived disability. Employers are prohibited from taking certain employment actions against a disabled employee or applicant that relate to hiring, firing, promotions, benefits, or work assignments.
Under the disability discrimination laws, the following acts are also illegal in the workplace:
- Failing to accommodate an employee if the request is reasonable and the employer is able to do so without any difficulty or undue hardship;
- Wrongfully terminating or otherwise negatively affecting an employee’s job based on his or her relationship with another individual with a disability – Also known as associational discrimination;
- Harassing employees in a harshly demeaning and offensive manner and effectively creating a hostile work environment for the employee because the employee has a disability or the employer perceives the employee as having a disability; OR
- Retaliating against employees who file disability discrimination complaints either internally within the human resources department for example, or through an administrative agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York State Division of Human Rights”(NYSDHR).
If you need a reasonable accommodation due to an underlying medical condition, you must inform your employer. For example, telling your employer, “I’m having a back problem and it really hurts to sit down. Can you reassign my job responsibilities?” would be a request for a reasonable accommodation. On the other hand, merely mentioning to an employer, “I need a new chair this one is uncomfortable,” would not be a sufficient request for a reasonable accommodation. In other words, it is important to tie whatever accommodation it is that you need with a your medical condition.
After appropriately requesting an accommodation, it is the employer’s responsibility to engage in further conversations with you and brainstorm how they could make your request work. This is called the interactive process. If after these back and forth conversations, your employer realizes that accommodating your request would cause the business an undue hardship, then your request may be denied. However, your employer should tell you why it is an undue hardship and cannot just say so to avoid accommodating you.
At Famighetti & Weinick PLLC, our Long Island discrimination attorneys understand that employees with disabilities are not defined by their disabilities. However, Federal, New York State, and New York City laws, have specific legal definitions for what constitutes a disability. The varying definitions tend to be tricky and convoluted so its important to consult with an experienced Long Island disability discrimination lawyer.
While the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), and New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) protect employees from being treated unfairly because of a disability, state and city laws are broader than federal law – with New York City’s disability discrimination law generally providing the most protection.
Broader laws are an indication that New York wants to help employees with disabilities who are treated unfairly due to a medical condition. The Long Island disability discrimination lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC, also want to help! We provide free consultations for employees with disabilities. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.