Many people suffer from disabilities that hinder their ability to go about the activities of daily life. Simply because a person has a disability does not mean they are unemployable, however. Instead, employees with disabilities are afforded many protections in the workplace under both New Jersey and federal law. For example, in many instances, an employer must provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations that will allow them to complete their job duties, and employers can be held liable for failing to do so. If you have a disability and were denied a reasonable accommodation from your employer, you may be able to recover damages. The dedicated New Jersey disability discrimination lawyers of the Resnick Law Group can work to develop compelling arguments on your behalf to help you pursue any damages you may be owed. We often assist people in employment cases in New Jersey and in New York.Reasonable Accommodations for Disabled Employees
Employees with disabilities are protected under both the LAD (New Jersey Law Against Discrimination) and the federal ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) from discrimination in the workplace. The ADA defines a disability as an impairment, which can be mental or physical, that substantially limits at least one major activity of life. This definition includes people who have a history of such an impairment or who are perceived as having an impairment. The LAD, which provides broader protection, defines a disability as any physical disability, malformation, disfigurement, or infirmity caused by an injury, illness, or birth defect. The LAD also encompasses mental, developmental, and psychological disabilities.
Under both the LAD and the ADA, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for the limitations of a disabled employee, which will allow the employee to perform the duties of his or her job. There are exceptions, however, for cases in which the employer can show that providing an accommodation would cause the operation of the business to suffer an undue hardship. An employer must at least consider whether a reasonable accommodation is possible before demoting, refusing to hire, or firing a person on the basis that the person’s disability would prevent him or her from performing a job. Indeed, an employer has an obligation to initiate a good-faith interactive process with the employee, essentially a communication exchange, to consider different accommodation options.
Whether an employer failed to make reasonable accommodations depends on the unique circumstances of the case. Common examples of reasonable accommodations, however, include modified schedules or leaves of absence, acquiring devices that make the employee’s job easier, and making facilities accessible. If the employer failed to make an accommodation on the grounds that it would impose a hardship, the court will assess several factors to determine if a true hardship would arise, including the employer’s budget, the size of his or her business (which includes the number of employees), and the cost and nature of the accommodation. A knowledgeable disability discrimination lawyer can potentially help you seek to demonstrate that your employer unlawfully failed to provide you with a reasonable accommodation.Liability for Failing to Provide Reasonable Accommodations
An employee with a disability who has been denied a reasonable accommodation that would allow him or her to perform the tasks of his or her job can seek recourse via a civil lawsuit. Generally, the employee must show that he or she could perform the essential functions of the job, with or without any accommodation. Further, the employee must show that the accommodation was reasonable and that it did not impose an undue hardship on the employer. Notably, an accommodation does not always have to be the precise accommodation requested by the employee to be deemed reasonable. An employee who establishes that he or she was unjustly denied a reasonable accommodation may be awarded damages for lost wages, emotional distress, attorney’s fees, and in some cases, they may be awarded punitive damages as well.Meet With an Experienced Disability Discrimination Lawyer in New Jersey
Employers are not only prohibited from discriminating against disabled employees, but in many cases, they have an affirmative duty to provide employees who have disabilities with reasonable accommodations. If your employer refused to provide you with the accommodations needed for you to perform your job, you can speak to an attorney to assess whether you have a viable claim for damages. At the Resnick Law Group, we can gather any evidence in support of your claim to assist you in pursuing your desired outcome. We have an office in Roseland, and we routinely assist people in employment cases throughout New Jersey, including cities in Bergen, Essex, Somerset, Hudson, Passaic, Morris, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Middlesex, Union, Warren, Mercer, and Sussex Counties. Additionally, we have an office in Manhattan, and we represent parties in lawsuits in New York City and throughout Westchester and Rockland Counties. We can be contacted through our form online or by phone at our Roseland office at (973) 781-1204 or at our New York office at (646) 867-7997 to set up a meeting.