What You Should Do If You Suspect Disability Discrimination
If you think your employer is discriminating against you because of your disability or a perceived disability, then your first step should be contacting an employment law attorney at The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks P.C. They will hear your case and help determine if anything illegal has happened.
In some cases, employees have been wrongfully terminated because they tried to request reasonable accommodations.
Meeting with a lawyer will be the biggest initial step you can take. Once the lawyer determines that you have a viable discrimination case, they will help you determine initial steps to take. Sometimes, the initial step is sending your employer a letter detailing your legal claims. Other times, it may be filing a complaint in court. When communicating with your employer through a “demand letter,” your attorney from The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C., will inform your employer of the facts of the case, the law which applies to the facts, and an analysis of how your employer’s conduct violated the law. From there, your lawyer will communicate a financial demand to compensate you for the damages that you have suffered because of disability discrimination.
Your employer will then have a chance to respond with a counteroffer, and your lawyer will work skillfully on your behalf to secure the settlement that you deserve. If they cannot settle out of court, then they will be prepared to take your case to court to fight for your rights.
Filing an Official Complaint
A concrete legal step you can take if you’re being discriminated against at work is to file a legal complaint with the help of an attorney from The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks. P.C. Before filing a discrimination complaint against your employer, it is important to consult your employee handbook. There, you will find the mandatory procedures in filing and documenting your official complaint. Do not skip this step. Any further legal action you can take depends on your following company protocol when filing a written complaint with your boss, HR, or anyone in a position of authority. By filing a complaint, you are officially putting your company on notice and giving them a chance to correct the problem and ensure it doesn’t happen again. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C., can guide you through this process. You don’t have to go at it alone.
Merely filing a complaint does not guarantee recourse. It has to be filed properly, and it must lay out the specific ways you feel the company harmed you. If your complaint is vague and fails to define the action deemed discriminatory or harassing, it may not be accepted. Some of the most common examples of complaints cited include discrimination against disability, gender, race, or religion. Any complaint alleging this type of discrimination or complaint about unpaid wages and overtime is considered “protected activity.” This means an employee can take action without fear of retaliation from their supervisor or employer. If you feel you are being mistreated after filing a complaint, you may take additional legal action by filing a retaliation claim.
Your employer can have an “affirmative defense” against claims of harassment or discrimination in some instances. Through this defense, the employer can avoid liability claims if it can prove that upon receiving the complaint, it took reasonable steps to swiftly correct the illegal discrimination or harassment to prevent it from happening again in the future, and that, in addition, the aggrieved employee did not take advantage of the corrective measures once they were put in place.
Frequently Asked Questions About Disability Discrimination
Unfortunately, we encounter many disability discrimination cases at The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C., and we are often asked questions about the legal process and other aspects of the case. While an attorney can address all of your individual concerns, we’ve provided answers to a few frequently asked questions.
How do I find out what accommodations are considered reasonable?
If you are unsure if the accommodations you requested from your employer are considered reasonable, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has posted detailed guidelines on reasonable accommodations, as well as undue hardship. An undue hardship would be described as something that would cause too much difficulty for your employer or would create too much of a financial burden.
Would I be protected from disability discrimination if I qualify for short-term disability?
If you are on short-term disability and feel that you have been discriminated against, then you should reach out to an employment lawyer so they can hear the details of your case. It is possible that you could be protected from discrimination, depending on the details of the case. For individuals who qualify, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides protected job leave to take care of a serious medical condition.
Is my employer required to sit with me to talk about my disability and my request for accommodations?
Yes, laws do require your employer to sit with you in what is called an “interactive process” so that you and your employer can discuss your request for accommodations to learn the best ways that you can do your job. Remember, your employer is not required to implement everything you ask for, but they should be willing to talk about what they can adjust to make it easier for you, so you do not face undue hardship.
The steps of an interactive process should include the following:
- You need to communicate your need for reasonable accommodation to your employer.
- Your employer will need to recognize your request. Some employers will require a doctor’s note to consider the accommodation.
- Give your employer any relevant information that they may need to help determine the reasonability of the accommodation.
- The employer should then explore any possible ideas to help meet that accommodation for you.
- Hopefully, your employer will work with you to choose the best possible accommodations so that it will be easier for you to do your job.
- Next, the accommodation itself should be implemented; your employer may need to provide training if it is a different technology than what you had before. If they delay your training in any way, speak with your human resources department.
- Make sure to monitor your productivity, if possible, so that you can prove the accommodation is helping you if you are asked about it. You may also need new or different accommodations.
Do I have to provide detailed information about my disability?
An employer may make disability-related inquiries and require medical examinations only if they are job-related and consistent with business necessity. When the disability and need for accommodation are not obvious, the employer may require that the employee provide sufficient supporting medical documentation prior to granting the accommodation request. If the medical documentation that the employee provides is insufficient, the employer must promptly communicate this and allow the employee a reasonable amount of time to provide proper documentation. b.
Can an employer refuse to hire me based on my disability?
The ADA does not require that an employer hire an applicant with a disability over other applicants because the person has a disability. The ADA only prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. It is unlawful to refuse to hire a qualified applicant with a disability because he is disabled or because a reasonable accommodation is required to make it possible for this person to perform essential job functions. If a reasonable accommodation can be made to allow you to perform the essential functions of the job, then an employer cannot deny you employment solely based on your disability.
Call us at (856) 746-6332, so we can hear the details about your case and tell you whether or not you may have a legal case. We will work to get you the compensation you deserve for suffering discrimination at your job.