Disability Discrimination Attorneys

Disability Discrimination Attorneys

If you are disabled, an employer is not allowed to discriminate against you on the basis of your disability if you are able to perform the essential tasks of the position for which you are applying. You have this protection under federal and state laws in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If you live in the Philadelphia area, there are also local laws there that provide protection to people who have disabilities against discrimination. If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your disability, a perception that you are disabled or a disability that you had in the past, contact the attorneys at Swartz Swidler, LLC for help.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania Attorneys for Disability Discrimination

If you live in New Jersey or Pennsylvania and have experienced discrimination by an employer either at your job or while you were looking for work, you may have the basis for a claim. The types of potential relief provided by the law include the following:

  • Injunctive relief, including a mandate that a company hires you, reinstates you or provides reasonable accommodations
  • Front and back pay
  • Damages for emotional distress
  • Punitive damages
  • Litigation costs and reasonable attorney’s fees

At Swartz Swidler, LLC, our Pennsylvania and New Jersey discrimination attorneys can help you if you have experienced illegal discrimination because of your disability. We are well known for our dedication to our clients and our skill. Call us at (856) 685-7420 to schedule your free consultation. Our main office is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. We also have an office in Philadelphia in order to better assist our clients in both states.

Relevant laws

The laws that are relevant to people who have been discriminated against by employers fall under both the federal law and the state laws. Philadelphia also has some local laws concerning discrimination based on disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act

In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. It prohibits employers who have 15 or more employees from discriminating against qualified people on the basis of their disabilities or perceived disabilities.

Under the act, a disabling condition is a physical or mental limitation that is either real or perceived and that poses a significant limit on one or more life activities. Examples may include conditions that limit mobility, hearing or sight. It can also include psychological conditions, chronic illnesses such as HIV or epilepsy and others.

People who have had a history of having an impairment are also covered by the law. For example, employers may not refuse to hire an applicant simply because he or she suffered from cancer in the past. People who are qualified for positions are those who have the skill, education, experience and other essential qualifications for the position.

Perceived disabilities may not actually be limitations, but the employer believes that the person is limited because of the employer’s perception. If an employer takes adverse action against a non-disabled person simply because of his or her wrongful perception of disability, the person may have the basis for a claim.

State and local laws

Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have their own laws covering employment discrimination due to disabilities. In Pennsylvania, the law is the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, or PHRA. In New Jersey, disabled workers are protected by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, or LAD.

Under the PHRA, Pennsylvania employers are prohibited from discriminating against disabled people because of a disability that is non-job related. This includes disabilities that do not substantially interfere with your ability to perform the essential functions of your job or the position you are applying for. You are entitled to have a reasonable accommodation so that you can perform the essential functions of your job unless it would present an undue hardship for the employer.

The LAD additionally prohibits discrimination based on atypical hereditary disorders such as sickle-cell anemia, cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs disease. Many developmental, physical, mental and psychological disorders are included as are disfigurements from injury accidents and many others.

Many cities and local governments have their own ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on disabilities. Philadelphians are covered by the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance, the PHRA and the ADA. Your lawyers at Swartz Swidler, LLC can help you to determine which laws will provide the best coverage for you in your particular situation.

Reasonable accommodations

Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for people who are disabled. not all accommodations are considered to be reasonable, however. A reasonable accommodation is one that will not present an undue hardship for the employer and that will enable you to perform the essential tasks of your job. It is up to you to request the accommodation.

If your employer refuses your request for a reasonable accommodation, you may be able to recover back pay if the refusal left you unable to do your job. The employer may also be ordered to make the reasonable accommodation and reinstate you to the position. Finally, the employer may have to pay you other compensatory damages.

Swartz Swidler, LLC ǀ New Jersey and Pennsylvania Disability Discrimination Lawyers

If you have suffered an adverse employment action on the basis of your real or perceived disability or your history of impairment, you may have suffered from illegal disability discrimination. Our skilled discrimination attorneys at Swartz Swidler, LLC may help you to seek the recovery that you deserve. It is important that you act quickly because some employment laws have deadlines that pass in 180 days from the date of the violation. Call us today to schedule your consultation at (856) 685-7420.