The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in the workplace against people who are disabled or who are perceived to have disabilities. The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees or job applicants with disabilities by providing assistance that allows them to perform the essential functions of the jobs they hold or seek.
A disabled worker or job applicant who is denied ADA accommodations or who faces employment discrimination may have legal recourse. A successful discrimination claim requires proving that the qualifying individual suffered an adverse employment action. The remedy sought may include demanding to be put in a similar job that the disabled worker was qualified to have and seeking compensatory or punitive damages.
If you have a disclosed disability and have not been treated fairly at your Florida workplace or as a job applicant, our Florida employment discrimination lawyers at Cruz Law Firm, P.A., can protect your rights and seek compensation for the way you have been mistreated.
The legal team at Cruz Law Firm, P.A., has nearly 20 years of combined legal experience and has taken more than 100 employment discrimination cases to trial. Contact Cruz Law today for a free consultation with a Florida ADA lawyer about ADA violations of your employment rights and the relief you have a right to seek. From our offices in Tallahassee, our attorneys represent qualified individuals in workplace discrimination cases in Lee County, Jacksonville, and Duval County and across the Florida Panhandle. Phone (850) 701-8838 now.
Key Aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law. It protects people with disabilities and makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals in the workplace because of a disability they have or are perceived to have.
The law addresses disability discrimination based on an individual’s real or perceived disability that adversely impacts their hiring, job duty assignments, training, wages, raises, promotions, or receipt of health insurance or other benefits.
The ADA covers employees and job applicants who:
- Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities or bodily functions such as seeing or hearing.
- Have a history of such an impairment.
- Are regarded by an employer as having such an impairment.
A major life activity under the ADA and the 2008 ADA Amendment Act (ADAAA) includes the following:
- Caring for oneself
- Performing manual tasks
Major bodily functions under the ADAAA include:
- Functions of the immune system
- Normal cell growth
- Digestive functions
- Bowel functions
- Bladder functions
- Neurological functions
- Brain functions
- Respiratory functions
- Circulatory functions
- Endocrine functions
- Reproductive functions.
A worker who has a disability has the right to acknowledge their disability and request a reasonable accommodation that allows them to perform the functions of a job. A worker who can adequately perform the essential functions of a job with reasonable accommodation is legally considered to be qualified for the job.
Essential functions of a job are duties that are fundamental to the position. The employer determines what job functions are essential and is not required to change a job’s essential functions to accommodate a disabled worker or job applicant.
Most employers who have 15 or more employees are required by federal law to provide reasonable accommodation for workers with disabilities. Employers of fewer people may be exempt from the requirements.
What Are ADA Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace?
A reasonable accommodation made to satisfy requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the hiring process that gives an individual with a disability equal opportunity to get a job, perform the job’s tasks and enjoy the benefits of having the job.
Private employers generally have the right to choose among reasonable accommodations as long as the chosen accommodation is effective. If there are two possible reasonable accommodations, the employer may choose the one that is less expensive, burdensome, or easier to provide — as long as it is effective.
There are numerous ways an employer may accommodate an employee’s disability. They include:
- Making existing facilities accessible.
- Restructuring the job.
- Modifying work schedules.
- Allowing the employee to work from home.
- Acquiring or modifying equipment.
- Allowing a service animal to accompany the worker.
- Changing tests, training materials, or policies.
- Providing qualified readers or interpreters.
- Reassigning the employee to a vacant position.
What is an ADA Lawyer?
If you feel like you have encountered discrimination in the workplace or during the job application process because of a disability, an employment disability discrimination lawyer with Cruz Law in Tallahassee can review your case and help you understand your legal options.
Can an ADA Lawyer Protect an Employee’s Rights
Yes, our first objective is to get you what you want, such as a fair shot at a job, an assignment, or a job promotion that you are legally qualified to receive. Sometimes, an experienced employment discrimination lawyer at Cruz Law can speak with an employer and persuade them to do the right thing. Other cases may be resolved through our representing you in mediation or litigation. During mediation sessions, a trained mediator helps the parties negotiate a resolution to a charge of discrimination.
When necessary, we can file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal government agency, against an employer based on disability discrimination in the workplace and seek a legal remedy for the harm you have suffered. Some cases are settled. In others, the EEOC may issue a Notice of Right to Sue letter, allowing you 90 days to file a lawsuit in federal court, based on discrimination laws.
In a legal claim on your behalf, an employment discrimination lawyer may seek a court order requiring the employer to reinstate you to your job or a prior assignment if you were wrongfully transferred or terminated. We may demand that your employer provide specific reasonable accommodation for you to do your job.
For harm that cannot otherwise be corrected, we could add:
- Back pay if you missed work because of the failure to accommodate your disability.
- Lost future earnings if you were wrongfully terminated or denied a promotion, and reinstatement is not feasible.
- Compensation for your psychological pain and suffering and the undue hardship you have endured.
- Compensation for your court costs and attorney’s fees.
- Punitive damages if your employer intentionally or willfully engaged in disability discrimination or failure to accommodate your disability.
It is illegal for employers to discriminate against an employee or applicant for a job based on a disability or to engage in retaliation if you file a complaint.
Contact Experienced Tallahassee ADA Discrimination Lawyers
If an employer has discriminated against you based on a disability that should be accommodated, our Florida employment discrimination lawyers at Cruz Law can help you. We’ll demand compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Our law firm acts to protect individuals from disability discrimination in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and across the Florida Panhandle. Our attorneys can advise you about your legal options in confidence and with no charge or further obligation. Contact us now to speak with our compassionate, experienced ADA employment discrimination lawyers.