If you have a disability that, with reasonable accommodation would not prevent you from doing your job, your employer has a duty to engage in an interactive process to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made available to you. If your employer fails to provide a reasonable accommodation (failure to accommodate), you may have a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).
An experienced Mercer County disability discrimination attorney can assist you in filing a claim. To prevail on this claim, you must prove four things:
- You have a “disability” within the meaning of the ADA
- You are a “qualified individual” able to perform the essential functions of your job
- Your employer was informed of your need for an accommodation due to a disability. Note that there is no requirement that a request be made for a particular or specific accommodation; it is enough to satisfy this element that the employer is informed of your basic need for an accommodation
- Your employer failed to provide the accommodations requested by you or any other reasonable accommodation
Under the ADA, a reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Job restructuring
- Part-time or modified work schedule
- Reassignment to a vacant position for which you are qualified
- Provision of qualified readers or interpreters
- Other similar accommodations
However, a “reasonable accommodation” does not require the employer to do any of the following:
- Change or eliminate any essential function of employment
- Shift any essential function of employment to other employees
- Create a new position for you
- Promote you
- Reduce productivity standards
Mercer County disability discrimination lawyers
At the Princeton law office of Zuckerman & Fisher, L.L.C., our Mercer County disability discrimination attorneys can guide you through each aspect of your claim, answering your questions and explaining the ADA’s process.
For example, the intent of the ADA is that the employer and the employee should engage in an interactive process to determine whether there is a reasonable accommodation that would allow the employee to perform the essential functions of a job. Both the employer and the employee must cooperate in this interactive process in good faith, once the employer has been informed of the employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation
Under the ADA, the term “disability” means a “physical or mental impairment” that “substantially limits” a “major life activity.”
“Physical/Mental Impairment” — The term “physical impairment” means any condition that prevents the body from functioning normally. The term “mental impairment” means any condition that prevents the mind from functioning normally.
“Major Life Activities” — Under the ADA, the term “disability” applies to a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Major life activities are activities that are of central importance to everyday life. Major life activities include the operation of major bodily functions.
“Substantially Limiting” — Only impairments with a permanent or long-term impact are disabilities under the ADA. Temporary injuries and short-term impairments are not disabilities. The name of the impairment or condition is not determinative. What matters is the specific effect of an impairment or condition on your life. The definition of “disability” is to be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals.
Once you establish that you have a disability as defined under the ADA, you must then prove that you are a “qualified individual.” This means that you must show that you have the skill, experience, education and other requirements for the job and could do the job’s “essential functions,” either with or without reasonable accommodation. This does not mean you must prove you can perform all the functions of your job, only the “essential functions.” If you cannot establish you are qualified to perform the essential functions of your job even with a reasonable accommodation then you are not a qualified individual under the ADA. The ADA does not require an employer to hire or retain an individual who cannot perform the job with or without an accommodation.
Your disability could be temporary, such as pregnancy. If you are pregnant and your employer refuses to provide reasonable accommodations while you are on the job, our Mercer County pregnancy discrimination lawyers can help.
Contact us for a skilled discrimination attorney in Mercer County
Determining whether you have a claim for discrimination requires the assistance of an experienced Mercer County disability discrimination attorney. If you believe you are the victim of disability discrimination, please contact the law office of Zuckerman & Fisher, L.L.C. online or at 609.514.0514 to speak with a seasoned discrimination attorney in Mercer County.