Disability Discrimination Violates New York and New Jersey Law
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), as well as New Jersey, New York State and New York City law, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because he or she is disabled. If you have a physical or mental disability that does not prevent you from performing your job, then your employer cannot fire you, demote you, suspend you, harass you, or otherwise discriminate against you because of it.
A Disability Does Not Have to Be Severe to Be Protected
In both New York and New Jersey, a physical or mental impairment does not necessarily have to be severe or debilitating to be considered a disability. As a result, while disabilities that cause blindness, hearing loss, paralysis or confinement to a wheelchair are considered disabilities, other conditions such as cancer, learning disabilities, depression and anxiety are also protected by anti-discrimination laws.
You Do Not Have to Currently Have a Disability to be Legally Protected
State and federal law also prohibit discrimination based on the false belief that an employee has a disability (a “perceived disability”), or the fact that he has a record of having a disability in the past (a “record of disability”). In other words, your employer cannot discriminate against you because it incorrectly believes you have a disability, or based on the fact that that you had a disability in the past. Accordingly, for example, conditions that are in remission such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes or hypertension are all legally protected disabilities. Similarly, episodic medical conditions such as epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) and asthma can fall within legal protection.
If you have experienced disability discrimination at work, your rights have been violated. Contact us online or call us in New Jersey at (201) 487-2700 or in New York at (212) 398-7100 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced employment law attorneys.
Employees Are Entitled to Reasonable Accommodations For Disabilities
Disabled employees are legally entitled to reasonable accommodations from their employers to allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Your employment law rights have been violated if you have been fired or otherwise harmed at your job because your employer refused to provide you a reasonable accommodation for your physical and mental impairment. Additional information is available on our reasonable accommodations page.
Employers Are Prohibited From Harassing You Because of a Disability
Like with every other form of unlawful discrimination, it is unlawful for your employer to harass you because you are disabled. For example, it can be unlawful for your boss to tease you about your disability, make jokes about your physical or mental limitations, or to go out of the way to make it difficult for you to do your job because you are disabled.
If you have experienced harassment at work because you are disabled, or any other form of disability discrimination in New Jersey or New York, we can help. Contact The Nirenberg Law Firm to learn more about your employment law rights. Our telephone number is (201) 487-2700.