Under federal, state, and local laws, it is illegal to discriminate against any person with an actual or perceived disability. From public accommodations, housing, employment, voting, and education–disability discrimination is not permissible. 

Unfortunately, disability discrimination does occur in many contexts of life and Bantle & Levy LLP wants to help you if you’ve been subjected to unfair treatment.

What Is a Disability Under Law?

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), defines “disability” as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Further, a person may have a disability under the ADA terminology if the person has a history or record of such an impairment. An individual may also receive disability protection if others perceive them to have an impairment.

What Is Considered a Disability Discrimination in New York?

In New York, there are many forms of action or inaction that may constitute disability discrimination. For example, the action or misconduct does not need to be intentional. Rather it can include failing to provide equal access to the same services, opportunities, and benefits that are available to people without disabilities.

Examples of disability discrimination may include, but are not limited to:

  • Discriminating on the basis of physical or mental disability in aspects of employment. This includes but is not limited to: 
    • Recruitment 
    • Firing 
    • Hiring 
    • Training 
    • Job assignments 
    • Promotions 
    • Pay 
    • Benefits 
    • Layoffs 
    • Leave 
  • Harassing an individual on the basis of his or her disability.
  • Asking job applicants questions about their past or current medical conditions.
  • Creating or maintaining a workplace, housing complex, or place of public accommodation that includes substantial physical barriers to the movement of people with physical disabilities.
  • Failing to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with a disability that would allow them to work.

What Laws Protect Individuals from Disability Discrimination?

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to provide people with disabilities with equal opportunity, participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. In addition to federal law, The New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law also prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities in board categories.

Further, the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law also prohibit discrimination against tenants and homeowners based on their disability.

In conjunction, these laws work to protect individuals with disabilities and provide equal access in:

  • Public Accommodation
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Voting

What Can I Do If I’ve Been Discriminated Against Because of My Disability?

If you believe you have been the victim of disability discrimination, are being harassed, or have been denied a reasonable accommodation, you need to take action.

If you have experienced discrimination at work, file a formal complaint with your employer. This puts your complaint in writing to the proper person (i.e., HR, a manager, etc.).

In some places of employment, there may be a formal process to file a complaint. Be sure to check your employee handbook to learn what these are. If there is no formalized complaint procedure, filing with your supervisor or HR representative may be your best option.

Depending on the claim and circumstances, you may wish to file a grievance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In cases of disability discrimination under the ADA, the EEOC can investigate your claim and ensure that proper action is taken.

However, there are restrictions if you do file under the EEOC. For example, it generally must be filed within 180 days of the illegal conduct; this time period may be extended in New York to 300 days in some cases.

If you file a legitimate complaint of disability discrimination with your employer, you will be protected from retaliation.

Regardless if you have an actual or perceived disability, if you have faced discrimination because of it, you deserve justice. Bantle & Levy LLP can help.

Facing Disability Discrimination in New York? Call Bantle & Levy LLP.

Under federal, state, and local laws, you are offered protection against disability discrimination. If you experience it, know that this treatment should not be tolerated. At Bantle & Levy LLP, our discrimination and civil rights attorneys can guide you through the legal process, ensuring that the most appropriate laws are being followed for your claim. This is an emotional time, let us help.

Contact our firm today to learn more.

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