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Disability Discrimination

Wigdor’s New York City-based disability discrimination lawyers have a proven track record of success in representing clients who have been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of their disability. We won the largest single-plaintiff verdict ever under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) in 2014, resulting in a $7.5 million verdict at trial against Walmart, which has been cited more than 500 times by other courts. We understand the challenges people with disabilities face in the workplace, and we are committed to fighting for their rights.

Under the ADA, an employer cannot discriminate against a qualified individual based upon a disability. New York City and New York State also have similar laws. A qualified individual is a person who can perform the essential functions of the job, either with or without reasonable accommodation.

To be clear, an employee does not have to be “disabled” to bring a successful disability discrimination claim; many cases involve individuals who are subject to adverse treatment because they are perceived to be disabled. In other words, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an individual because the employer believes that individual suffers from a condition that would prevent them from being productive or could pose a risk of increased costs or inconvenience, even if the employer’s belief is wrong.

The anti-discrimination laws also require an employer to make reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees with known disabilities. A reasonable accommodation allows the individual to “compete in the application process or perform the essential functions of the job.”

When an employee brings their disability to their employer’s attention, the employer must speak with the employee as part of the “interactive accommodation process” to propose a reasonable accommodation or come to an agreement on a reasonable accommodation without placing an unreasonable burden on the employer. Typical reasonable accommodations include having existing facilities accessible to the employee, adjusting work schedules, modifying equipment and reducing physical labor.

Our disability discrimination lawyers often handle cases where employers refuse to grant reasonable requests for accommodation from disabled employees or fail to engage in the legally required reasonable accommodation interactive process to discuss whether accommodations can be made to assist an employee performing the job. Other types of matters arise when employers ask unlawful questions that would reveal a disability prior to making a job offer or retaliate against an employee for taking medical leave, asking for an accommodation or complaining about discriminatory treatment.

If you have been discriminated against in the workplace because of your disability or perceived disability, you deserve justice. Contact an experienced lawyer today to learn more about your rights and how to get the compensation you deserve.

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