Articles Posted in Disability Discrimination

Published on:

If you’ve encountered disability discrimination in your job, you’ve likely suffered significant harm. You may have lost earnings; you may have lost your job entirely. You’ve suffered enough; you don’t need to suffer the loss of your discrimination lawsuit before it even gets off the ground because you didn’t have the tools you needed for success. Before you start, make sure have all the resources you need, including an experienced New Jersey disability discrimination lawyer.

The reasons that the right legal representation is so important are many. On TV shows, during the pretrial process, you see attorneys digging through stacks of documents or interviewing potential witnesses. You don’t see all that goes into, say, making a proper demand for the production of documents or correctly noticing a deposition.

Many procedural details potentially can trip up your case. Take, for example, Y.R., an office manager at a dermatology practice. The manager allegedly had peptic ulcers. The employer allegedly failed to accommodate the manager’s disabilities that stemmed from those ulcers. Eventually, in early 2018, the employer fired the manager after nearly 15 years on the job, so Y.R. sued for disability discrimination.

Continue reading

Published on:

You can think of your successful discrimination or sexual harassment case like one of those domino “chain reaction” exercises. To arrive at a successful domino effect conclusion, every element of the chain must be properly in place and must do its job. If any one of them fails, the whole thing fails. One of the many ways that the right New Jersey employment discrimination lawyer will help you is by ensuring that you have the proof you need in each of the required elements so that each of your “dominos” will be more than ready to do its job and get you to a successful case result.

The disability discrimination case of one retail worker from North Jersey makes for a very good example of this. F.K., a woman with a hearing impairment and a speech impediment, worked at a clothing store and “lifestyle retailer” in the Menlo Park Mall in Edison.

Eight months after F.K. started, a new manager came to the store. Things allegedly got off to a rocky start. The new manager verbally reprimanded for various minor infractions. There was one text message exchange about an alleged incident involving F.K. reading a book while “on the clock.” However, no one ever “wrote up” F.K. and all managers confirmed that F.K.’s work was “generally satisfactory.”

Continue reading

Published on:

A recent ruling from the New Jersey Supreme Court represents a very positive, and very crucial, clarification of an element of disability discrimination law in this state. Going forward, employees whose employers improperly failed to accommodate their disabilities can be confident that they do not need proof of a separate adverse employment action to win their cases. Now more than ever, if your employer failed to accommodate your disability, you should take aggressive action and seek out a knowledgeable New Jersey disability discrimination lawyer right away.

M.R., the employee in the case the Supreme Court recently addressed, was a middle school science teacher with type I diabetes. At the start of the 2012-13 school year, she received a schedule she considered problematic. The schedule called for her lunch break to start at 1:05 pm. She asked her principal for an earlier lunch period, fearing that such a late lunch could cause her blood sugar problems. Her schedule was not changed.

One day in March 2013, the teacher suffered a diabetes-induced medical trauma during her last class before lunch. She experienced a seizure and became unconscious. In the related fall, she hit her head on a table and bled extensively.

Continue reading

Published on:

Men and women who serve or have served in the military have made many sacrifices. One of the sacrifices members of the military should not have to make is tolerating a workplace with discrimination and harassment. If you are serving or have served, and you are experiencing this type of workplace mistreatment, you may be entitled to a judgment and substantial compensation. You should get in touch with a knowledgeable New Jersey workplace discrimination lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.

K.K. allegedly was one of those service members who did have to endure such mistreatment. According to an nj.com report, he was a Marine who, after leaving military service, became a police officer. However, while serving on a force for a borough in Somerset County, he was on the receiving end of an extensive string of offensive comments and other workplace harassment, according to his lawsuit.

Allegedly, the police chief told K.K., who was injured while serving in Iraq and experienced PTSD as a result, after the latter had performed poorly on a shooting exercise, “if you put your gun in your mouth, you wouldn’t miss.” Again noting K.K.’s poor shooting performance, the chief questioned the quality of K.K.’s military service with alleged taunts such as “I thought Marines could shoot, what … kind of Marine are you?”

Continue reading

Published on:

For some jobs, a psychological evaluation may be a mandatory part of the application process. While mental fitness may be an important requirement for some jobs, the law does not allow an employer to use this process – or an employer’s outsourcing of this assessment to outside psychologists – as a means to dodge liability for violations of discrimination law. If you think an employer has done that to you, you should get in touch with a knowledgeable New Jersey employment discrimination lawyer right away.

A recent disability discrimination case from federal court shows how that potentially can happen. C.G., a police officer and a former Marine, was attempting to join the police force in Pittsburgh. He passed the written exam with flying colors. After that, though, he had to complete a psychological examination process and, when two of the three psychologists recommended not hiring C.G., he didn’t get the job.

C.G. had engaged in misconduct as a juvenile but, as his complaint noted, the department had hired others who had engaged in similar youthful misbehavior. The difference, according to C.G., was that he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Continue reading

Published on:

If your car needs a new timing belt, you need a trained and skilled auto mechanic. If you need an appendectomy, you need a trained and experienced surgeon. Similarly, if you’ve suffered discrimination at work, your legal case is not the right time to attempt a DIY project. You need the aid of a skilled legal advocate. Trying to “go it alone” can not only weaken parts of your case, it can lead to the commission of errors that eventually do fatal harm to your case. Your case is too important to put at risk, so make sure you act promptly in obtaining a knowledgeable New Jersey employment discrimination lawyer.

To back up that point, here is a disability discrimination case that makes for a real-life cautionary tale. The worker, G.W., worked at a mental health and drug rehab center until the center terminated his employment in September 2017.

A year later, G.W. sued in federal court. He alleged many claims, including violations of the Law Against Discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and the Family Leave Act.

Continue reading

Published on:

Great strides have been made in the last 30 years to eradicate discrimination against people with disabilities. If the proposed version of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 becomes law, another vestige of legally allowable discrimination against workers with disabilities will be gone, as the law will eliminate the ability of employers to pay people with disabilities subminimum wages. Whenever you think you’ve been the target of disability discrimination at work, you should seek out a knowledgeable New Jersey employment attorney for answers to the questions you have.

The move to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour has been in the headlines a lot recently. The State of New Jersey already has a $15-per-hour minimum wage law on the books. That law makes the state minimum wage $12 per hour for 2021, $13 for 2022, $14 for 2023, and $15 for 2024.

What that state law didn’t do, however, was end the practice of allowing employers to pay people with disabilities subminimum wages. That practice began in 1938 when the federal government enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act, which created the first federally-mandated minimum wage.

Continue reading

Published on:

In late November and early December, reports began surfacing that approval of a COVID-19 vaccine might be near and that a ‘massive’ network designed to distribute the vaccine was ready to get millions of doses to Americans. While many may be eagerly anticipating a COVID-19 vaccine, others may be viewing it with a more skeptical eye. Some opposed to getting vaccinated may soon find themselves potentially forced to choose between getting an unwanted vaccine or losing their jobs. For certain New Jerseyans, an employer forcing a mandatory vaccine upon them may represent a violation of the Law Against Discrimination and, with the help of a skilled New Jersey employment discrimination attorney, provide the foundation of a winning civil claim in court.

In several circumstances, an employer that establishes a policy requiring all employees to receive a vaccine may be acting legally under the Law Against Discrimination. Recently, the state legislature passed a law that required all home health care workers, nursing home staff and hospital workers to receive the flu vaccine. By analogy and logical extension, any policy by one of these types of employers to require the COVID-19 vaccine would generally be permissible.

Note those words “several” and “generally” in that preceding paragraph. Whether you work at a hospital, a bank or at a construction site, there are certain situations in which your employer is limited in what it can do. Your employer cannot, for example, make you get a vaccine if you can show that receiving that vaccine would be seriously medically harmful to you. If you have a valid medical exemption and your employer refuses to honor it, that refusal could represent the basis of a winning disability discrimination case in New Jersey.

Continue reading

Published on:

“Cancer” is a word that can strike fear in even the bravest of people. Everyone dreads hearing a response from the doctor that starts, “I am detecting a mass and I think we should check it out.” Undergoing cancer treatment, or even just testing for potential cancer, is a serious medical event that can impact every part of your life, both professional and personal. Among all the other fears with which you’ll inevitably have to deal, losing your job due to discrimination shouldn’t be one of them. If that happens to you, be sure to reach out to an experienced New Jersey disability discrimination attorney to discuss your legal options.

W.E., a truck driver from Pennsylvania, was one of those people who had to face those challenges. In late 2015, he underwent surgery to remove a nodule in his left lung (and so that doctors could test the nodule for cancer.) That procedure (and post-operative recovery) forced the trucker to take a two-month leave.

After just a month and a half back at work, the trucker suffered a severe respiratory infection at the end of January 2016, missing several days of work. On Feb. 1, W.E.’s second day back, the employer fired him, so he sued in federal court for disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Continue reading

Published on:

Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court is weighing two cases of discrimination allegedly suffered by two Catholic school teachers. A victory by the two teachers could represent a very important success for Catholic school teachers everywhere, including the 7,300+ such educators here in New Jersey, when it comes to being free from insidious employment discrimination. Even if your employer is a religion-based one, you may still be able to sue them and recover valuable compensation for discrimination or harassment you’ve suffered. If you’ve been harmed by age, sex, disability or other forms of discrimination by your religious employer, be sure you consult an experienced New Jersey employment discrimination attorney and investigate your legal options.

A. M.-B., who taught at an elementary school in Hermosa Beach, Cal., was let go at age 65 and sued for age discrimination. K.B., who taught at an elementary school in Torrance, Cal., had her employment ended shortly after she informed her employer that she would need to take medical leave to treat her breast cancer, so she sued for disability discrimination.

Both of these teachers might have had very strong cases if their employers had been private companies or public agencies. For employees like teachers at religious schools, it’s more complicated. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that the government cannot interfere in a religious entity’s decisions about who is or is not employed as a minister of that entity. This “ministerial exception” within discrimination law is rooted in the free exercise of religion clause of the First Amendment.

Continue reading

Contact Information