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 has a disability. In other words, 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.Discrimination Based on Past and Perceived Disabilities is Prohibited
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 or she 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 you previously had a disability. 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 like epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) and asthma can fall within the protection of the law.
If you have experienced disability discrimination at work, your rights have been violated. Please feel free to contact us online or call us in New Jersey at (973) 744-4000 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced employment law attorneys.Employees Are Entitled to Reasonable Accommodations for Their Disabilities
Employees with disabilities 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 or mental impairment. Additional information is available on our reasonable accommodations for disabilities page.Employers Are Prohibited From Harassing You Because of a Disability
As with every other form of unlawful discrimination, it is unlawful for your employer to harass you because you have a disability. 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 have a disability.
If you have experienced harassment at work because you have a disability, or any other form of disability discrimination at your job in New Jersey or New York, we can help. Contact Rabner Baumgart Ben-Asher & Nirenberg, P.C. to learn more about your employment law rights. Our telephone number is (973) 744-4000.