Palm Beach Gardens Disability Discrimination Attorney
Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more Florida workers are forced to deal with a physical or mental disability. This can make everyday life a challenge. On top of that, many employers may refuse to accommodate an employee’s disability or even outright fire or refuse to hire someone who is perceived as unable to perform the job.
This is why there are strong legal protections against disability-based discrimination. An employer cannot treat an employee or job applicant less favorably based on a real or perceived disability. And in many cases, an employer must work with an employee who has requested a special accommodation for their disability. If you have dealt with an employer–or potential employer–who will not follow these rules, you should speak with a Palm Beach Gardens disability discrimination attorney who can advise you of your legal rights. At the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., we represent workers who have been unfairly treated by an employer based on disability status.
Know Your Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the principal federal law that protects workers against disability discrimination. The ADA covers all private employers with at least 15 employees. The ADA protects not only those employees who currently have a disability, but also those with a prior history of impairments and even those the employer incorrectly perceives as disabled.
A “disability” under the ADA is broadly defined as any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. So a disability can be something like paralysis or deafness. But it can also be a more commonplace medical condition like cancer or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The ADA only protects workers considered “qualified” to perform the “essential duties” of a particular job with or without any special accommodation for the employer. That said, a qualified employee is entitled to ask for a “reasonable accommodation” to help them perform their job. Legally, the burden is on the employer to make such a request. The employer is not required to guess or offer such an accommodation unprompted.
Nor is it necessarily disability discrimination for an employer to refuse an accommodation. But the employer must engage in a “good-faith interactive process” to determine if a reasonable accommodation is possible. An employer can still cite an “undue hardship” as grounds for refusing an accommodation.
Contact the Sconzo Law Office Today
The ADA forbids covered employers from refusing to hire or promote qualified workers based on disability status. Nor can an employer pay disabled workers less or create a hostile work environment targeting them based on a disability. Such acts fall within the general scope of illegal disability discrimination.
Many workers may not even realize they are the victims of such discrimination. But if you suspect that is the case, then it is in your best interest to speak with a Palm Beach Gardens discrimination disability attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., today to schedule a complimentary consultation.