Steven Fingerhut, an employment litigation associate at Phillips & Associates, recently offered advice to Super Lawyers as to how a person can tell if he or she has grounds to pursue a New York disability discrimination claim. Mr. Fingerhut was recently named to the New York Rising Stars by Super Lawyers, which is an honor reserved for the top attorneys in a practice area in each state.
Laws Protecting Workers with Disabilities
Mr. Fingerhut noted that local, state, and federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating against people with disabilities. For example, the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSRHL), the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all protect people from disability-based workplace discrimination. In New York, to recover damages for a disability discrimination claim, you must prove that you meet the elements of a claim as defined by one of the anti-discrimination laws.
While each of the aforementioned laws prohibits discrimination against an individual with a disability, they all have a unique definition of what constitutes a disability. For instance, the ADA defines a disability as a physical, medical, or mental impairment that inhibits a person in performing a major activity of daily life. Some actions that are considered major activities of daily life are hearing, seeking, and walking. Additionally, a person is not only considered disabled for purposes of the ADA if he or she actually has a disability, but also if he or she is believed to have a substantial or permanent mental or physical impairment, regardless of whether the person actually has the impairment.
Mr. Fingerhut explained that under the NYSRHL a person is disabled if he or she has a mental or physical condition that can be confirmed through medical tests or records, if the condition inhibits a bodily function, or if he is she is believed to be impaired by such a condition. Conversely, under the NYCRHL a person is deemed disabled if he or she has an actual or perceived mental, medical, physical, or psychological impairment. While the NYCRHL provides the greatest level of protection it is only applicable in cases where the discrimination takes place in New York City.
Discrimination Against Individuals with Disabilities in the Workplace
The ADA, NYSRHL, and NYCRHL all prohibit employers from discriminating against disabled employees in the workplace. Examples of discriminatory behavior include inappropriate comments about a person’s disability or ability to perform his or her job, or the denial of a promotion due to a disability. Additionally, the failure to provide a person with a reasonable accommodation so that he or she can perform his or her job may constitute discrimination as well.
Speak with an Experienced New York Employment Discrimination Attorney
If you were discriminated against in the workplace due to a disability you may be able to recover compensation for your harm from your employer. Mr. Fingerhut and the experienced New York employment discrimination attorneys of Phillips & Associates will work tirelessly to help you pursue the full extent of damages you may be able to recover. We assist people in employment discrimination cases in New York City, Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, as well as in New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. We can be reached at (212) 248-7431 or through the form online to schedule a consultation regarding your potential claims.