In the workplace, discriminating against an employee because of a physical or mental disability is not tolerated. State and federal laws in New Jersey work to protect disabled employees from bosses that use the disability as the justification for wrongful termination, failure to hire, lower pay, or workplace harassment.
If you or a loved one suffered discrimination in the workplace because of their disability, contact our law offices today. The Passaic County, NJ disability discrimination lawyers at The Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi fight to get compensation and justice for victims of discrimination and their families. To schedule a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (973) 453-4060.
WHAT DISABILITIES QUALIFY FOR PROTECTION FROM DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION IN NJ?
Under New Jersey law, you are protected from discrimination based on multiple factors, including disabilities. Disabilities are often complex, and the laws surrounding their protection are equally complex. Most disabilities, even minor ones, are protected from discrimination under the Law Against Discrimination (LAD). In many cases, disability discrimination laws might even protect those who have no disability from discrimination based on a perceived disability.
For purposes of employment discrimination, the definition of disability is incredibly broad. This definition includes both physical and mental issues and goes beyond permanent and debilitating disabilities. The law protects not only these kinds of disabilities, but also illness, disfigurement, birth defects, and injuries. For mental health issues, the definition is broad enough to encompass developmental disorders as well as other psychological issues so long as they are proven through “accepted” testing or psychological analysis.
This definition means that New Jersey’s definition extends to protect a wide range of disabilities and conditions, including:
- Permanent disabilities,
- Temporary disabilities,
- Visible conditions,
- Invisible conditions,
- Physical conditions,
- Personality disorders,
- Developmental disorders,
- Injuries, and other disabilities.
Aside from these disabilities, the LAD also protects against discrimination in people without disabilities. Discrimination for a disability can also include discrimination because an employer or co-worker thinks you have a disability, or because you previously had a disability or might get it in the future. For instance, a cancer survivor or someone whose parent has AIDS should not face discrimination because of misconceptions surrounding these illnesses.
WHEN DO NJ DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION LAWS APPLY?
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination protects against any negative employment decisions. This can include failure to hire, wrongful termination, transfer, institution of modified work tasks, or reduced pay. If any of these are based on your disability and the decision negatively affects you, you could be entitled to file a discrimination claim.
In many cases, employers wrongly believe that someone’s disability will get in the way of their employment and that they either cannot hire a disabled worker or they need to fire them to prevent potential injuries. In many cases, these claims are unjustified examples of discrimination. However, there are many opportunities to work with your employer to come to achieve everyone’s best interests. For example, modified job tasks may be used to benefit a worker with a disability rather than demean or embarrass them.
Disability discrimination laws sometimes make additional demands of employers with disabled employees. For instance, buildings or facilities without handicap accessibility may discriminate against the disabled, especially if those facilities prevent handicapped workers from accessing the restroom or otherwise cause serious embarrassment. If your employer refuses reasonable accommodations, they may be violating disability discrimination rules. However, some equipment or modifications may be considered an “undue hardship” for your employer, and they may not be required to make accommodations for you.
Harassment, bullying, and unfair treatment in the workplace are also illegal under NJ’s discrimination laws. If your supervisor or someone else with authority commits these acts themselves or allows co-workers to harass you, you may be entitled to file a claim for discrimination.
REMEDIES FOR EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION IN NJ
If you are the victim of discrimination, you might have been fired from or denied a job or a promotion you should have received. In many of these cases, you face financial harms because you had to keep or take a lower-paying job, lost employment benefits, or missed-out on other opportunities for financial gain. If you win a claim for discrimination, you may be entitled to claim these financial harms as damages in the lawsuit. You may also be able to demand reinstatement into a position, along with back pay.
Additional damages may be available for the emotional distress you faced because of the harassment or mistreatment as well as the legal fees you spent to take your claim to court.
PASSAIC COUNTY, NEW JERSEY DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION LAWYERS OFFERING FREE CONSULTATIONS
If you or someone you know what the victim of disability discrimination in the workplace, have them call The Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi. Our Passaic County disability discrimination lawyers represent victims of employment discrimination and work to get them reinstated to their positions and to get them the compensation they need for back pay and emotional distress. For a free consultation on your case, call our law offices today at (973) 453-4060.
Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi LLC.
New Jersey Office:
66 NJ-17 #500,
Paramus, New Jersey 07652