New Hampshire Disability Discrimination Attorney
Understanding Your Rights as an Employee
Under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, employers are prohibited from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. If you suspect you have been or are currently being discriminated against for your disabilities, reach out to Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. today.
With more than 140 years of combined experience, our trial lawyers can take your case to court and fight to protect your rights. We believe in standing up for the rights of workers throughout New Hampshire, and our disability discrimination attorneys are ready to fight for you. Continue reading to learn more or reach out to us today to set up an initial appointment with a member of our team.
What Is the Americans with Disabilities Act?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that went into effect in 1990. The law protects the rights of American workers who have curtained defined disabilities and prohibits employers and potential employers for discriminating against an individual based on those disabilities. Modeled after Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which prohibits employers and potential employers from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion—the ADA provides similar protections to disabled individuals.
Specifically, under the ADA, disabled individuals have the following rights:
- Equal opportunity and benefits as individuals who do not have disabilities
- To receive reasonable workplace accommodations needed to perform essential work duties
- Access to local and state government services, including federally funded public transportation
- To be free of discrimination regarding public accommodations and commercial facilities
- To be free of discrimination regarding telecommunications (e.g., phone services, Internet, etc.)
The ADA also offers other miscellaneous protections to individuals with disabilities, including fair access to insurance coverage by insurance providers, protection from retaliation, and more.
What Is Considered a “Disability” Under the ADA?
The original Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 outlined its definition of “disability” to include significant impairment to a physical or mental function that substantially limits one’s ability to carry out important life activities, such as caring for oneself or working. In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) amended the definition of “disability” with the goal of making it easier for disabled individuals to demonstrate that they met the Act’s requirements for protection under the law.
There is no set list of what constitutes a disability under the ADA, as the law recognizes any physical or mental condition that significantly impairs a major life activity. However, certain conditions are typically recognized as disabilities under federal and state law.
These conditions include but are not limited to:
- Heart disease
- Hearing and speech impairments
- Blindness (partial or total)
- Paralysis (partial or total)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Alcoholism and related complications
- Pregnancy complications
- Cerebral palsy
- Missing limbs, extremities, or body parts
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Cognitive impairment
- Brain damage
To qualify as disabled under the ADA, an individual must have a record of his or her impairment or be regarded as having the impairment.
Examples of Workplace Disability Discrimination
Under the ADA and ADAAA, employers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of physical or mental disability in various aspects of employment.
Employers may not discriminate against a disabled individual in any of the following situations:
- Work duties/activities
- Laying off
Essentially, an employer may not discriminate against an individual with a disability in any aspect of employment, including all work-related assignments, duties, and activities. Employers are also prohibited from harassing an employee on the basis of his or her disability, creating or maintaining a workplace or work environment that has significant obstacles that prevent a disabled individual from performing his or her work-related activities, and refusing to provide reasonable accommodations necessary for a disabled individual to complete work-related assignments, duties, and activities.
For example, if an employer hires an individual with a hearing impairment but does not provide training videos with closed captioning, this could be an example of disability discrimination. Additionally, if a disabled employee files a complaint or requests reasonable accommodations and is later fired or otherwise retaliated against, this is an example of wrongful termination and a violation of the employee’s rights under the ADA.
Indirect discrimination can be just as harmful to employees with disabilities as direct discrimination. An example of indirect disability discrimination would be a workplace policy that uniquely and negatively affects an individual with a disability.
What to Do If You Are the Victim of Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
If you believe your employer has discriminated against you due to your disability or impairment, reach out to our New Hampshire disability discrimination attorneys at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. You could have grounds for a lawsuit against your employer, and our attorneys can help protect your rights. By filing a disability discrimination claim, you can seek monetary compensation for the financial and intangible losses you have endured due to your employer’s wrongful actions.
Our team is here to answer your questions and fight for the justice you deserve. We have more than 140 years of combined legal experience, as well as a proven record of success. We prepare every case for trial and are ready to advocate tirelessly for you.