Since 1990 Federal Law has recognized that individuals with disabilities have a civil right to be free from discrimination in the workplace. In New York, that right has existed since 1974. The Americans with Disabilities Act and New York State Human Rights Law prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities in hiring, firing, pay, assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
Both Federal and New York Law go beyond the mere prohibition of discrimination against individuals with disabilities – they require employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability that will enable them to perform their job.
Reasonable Accommodations of Disabilities
Accommodations that are reasonable and therefore required depend on the circumstances. Reasonable accommodations can include:
- shifting responsibility for job tasks to other employees
- altering when and/or how a job task is performed
- allowing a part-time or modified work schedule
- adjusting arrival or departure times
- providing periodic breaks
- allowing an employee to use accrued paid leave
- providing an employee additional unpaid leave
- reassignment of an employee to a vacant position
- adjusting or modifying tests, training materials, or policies
- making the workplace accessible for employees using wheelchairs or other assistive devices
- providing an employee equipment or aids to assist the performance of work tasks
Although your employer may not be obligated to provide the exact accommodation you request, once you express a need for some adjustment or change at work for a reason related to a medical condition, your employer must promptly engage in an informal interactive process with you – a discussion – to clarify your needs and identify an appropriate reasonable accommodation.
Protecting Your Private Medical Information
The Disability Discrimination laws also forbid the disclosure of private medical information except in very limited situations, which does not include disclosure to coworkers.
Long Island New York Disability Discrimination Lawyer
If you have been the victim of disability discrimination or your employer has denied you a reasonable accommodation of your disability, call or contact us online immediately for a FREE consultation.
The Law Office of Ralph A. Somma
Working to Enforce Workplace Rights.
CLICK TO CALL: (631) 587-1699