Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), it is illegal to harass an employee or a job applicant because that individual has a disability, has had a disability in the past, or is believed to have a disability. These laws require an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation to allow an employee or job applicant with a disability perform the essential functions of the job, unless providing that accommodation would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer. A reasonable accommodation is any change or modification in the work environment that assists a person with a disability perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment.
Examples of disability discrimination include:
- Offensive remarks about an individual’s disability
- Denying an advancement or a promotion because of the individual’s disability
- Refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation for an individual with a disability for the performance of essential job functions
- Compensating an individual less than other individuals because of the individual’s disability
- Retaliating against an individual for requesting an accommodation
- Being treated noticeably different with respect to the conditions and benefits of employment because of the individual’s disability
- Being treated noticeably different than other employees because of the individual’s disability
Disability discrimination can be committed by the individual’s supervisor, a supervisor from another work area, a co-worker, or a customer.
Under the ADA and NJLAD, if the individual with a disability can perform the job with a reasonable accommodation and requests a reasonable accommodation, the employer has a duty to enter into a dialogue (called “the interactive process”) with the employee to determine what options exist for a reasonable accommodation. Examples reasonable accommodation might include:
- Modifying an employee’s workstation
- Providing special equipment to allow the employee to perform the job
- Redistributing non-essential work tasks to other employees
- Modifying an employee’s work hours,
- Providing leave from work of a defined duration
- Providing printed material in large fonts
- Job restructuring
Disability discrimination is not limited to the employment setting. The ADA and NJLAD also ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, schools, day care facilities, recreation facilities, and doctors’ offices. The ADA requires newly constructed places of public accommodation, and also those which have been renovated to comply with the accessibility standards set forth by the ADA. The ADA’s accessibility standards also apply to commercial facilities, which are privately owned, nonresidential facilities such as office buildings, warehouses, and factories.
If your employer has discriminated against you on the basis of a real or perceived disability, do not hesitate to contact us. We will fiercely and effectively fight for you. The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks PC is on the employee’s side. Contact us to see how we can advocate for you. We can be reached at (800) 406-8013 or via email.