The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) makes it unlawful for an employer to terminate or make an employment decision about a qualified individual on the basis of the person’s disability.
A Mercer County disability attorney like those at the Princeton law office of Zuckerman & Fisher, L.L.C can help you establish your claim. To do so, we must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that your disability was a motivating/determinative factor in your employer’s decision. You need not prove it was the sole or exclusive motivation for the adverse decision. Nor are you required to prove direct evidence of unlawful motive. Discrimination, if it exists, is seldom admitted by the employer. You may infer discrimination based on the existence of other facts.
Generally, proof of disability discrimination requires that you establish an initial case of discrimination or what in legal terminology is called a prima facie case of discrimination. This requires that you prove, by the preponderance of the evidence, the following facts:
- You have a disability
- You held a position for which you were objectively qualified
- Your employment was terminated or you otherwise suffered an adverse employment decision
- Your employer sought to or did fill the position with a similarly-qualified but non-disabled person
Once you have proven a prima facie case of discrimination, the employer must articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its decision against you. Typically, the employer will claim that you failed to perform your job, or that the action against you was part of a legitimate reduction in force. In articulating its reason, the employer is required to present some proof that supports a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for its action.
Once the employer has set forth a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason, you next have the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that your employer’s proffered reason is merely a pretext or cover-up to discriminate against you based upon your disability. This may be accomplished by showing that (1) a discriminatory reason more likely than not motivated the employer’s action, or (2) your employer’s proffered explanation is unworthy of belief and that a motivating/determinative reason for the adverse employment decision was your disability.
To discredit your employer’s explanation, you cannot simply show that its decision was wrong, because the factual dispute at issue is not whether your employer made the right decision or a fair decision. Rather, you must demonstrate such weaknesses, implausibilities, or contradictions in your employer’s explanation for its actions that a jury would find it to be unworthy of belief or that, even if a true reason, it was not the only true reason and that your disability was a motivating/determinative factor in the decision to terminate you.
Mercer County handicap disability lawyers
Determining whether you have a claim for disability or handicap discrimination requires the assistance of a professional. If you believe you are the victim of disability discrimination, the Mercer County disability lawyers at Zuckerman & Fisher, L.L.C. can help. We are located in Princeton in Mercer County, New Jersey, and we have extensive experience statewide resolving all types of discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, whether through settlement or trial.
Contact us for a skilled disability attorney in Mercer County
Determining whether you have a claim for disability discrimination requires the assistance of an experienced Mercer County disability discrimination lawyer on your side. 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 lawyer in Mercer County.