Disability discrimination is a form of illegal discrimination that occurs when disabled people are excluded from activities because of a lack of reasonable accommodation.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) provide legal protection for disabled individuals against such discrimination in the workplace and public areas.
Disability Discrimination in New Jersey
Two major laws prevent discrimination against disabled New Jersey workers and citizens, the ADA and the NJLAD.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers protection to disabled people by prohibiting employers from discriminating against them when hiring, compensating, promoting, or firing. New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) is the second law that protects disabled people.
New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) makes it unlawful for a business owner to discriminate against any individual based on a real or perceived disability.
The NJLAD applies to all private employers and places of public accommodation (stores and restaurants for example) in New Jersey and has a broader list of disabilities than what the ADA covers.
The NJLAD can even include a claim for failing to accommodate a service animal in a restaurant or store.
Protection for Disabled Workers Under the ADA
The ADA protects qualified workers with disabilities from being treated differently due to their disability status.
To be protected by the ADA, individuals must meet certain criteria, including having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; having a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.
Additionally, individuals must be able to perform essential job functions and demonstrate their ability to do so either through their effort or with reasonable accommodations in the workplace. Reasonable accommodations may include changes to job duties, changes to the work environment, or modifications to equipment used in the workplace.
- To be protected under the ADA, an employee must fall under the status of a “qualified worker with a disability,” which means the mental or physical disability is permanent and life-altering but does not prevent them from being able to fulfill job requirements.
- Reasonable accommodations for disabled workers may include handicapped access and ramps installed at workplaces for employees in wheelchairs or modified work schedules for those suffering from physical conditions like diabetes.
NJLAD Offers Broader Protections Than ADA
In some cases, NJLAD offers broader protections than those provided by the ADA. NJLAD prohibits discrimination based on any disability, regardless of whether it is severe enough to meet ADA qualifications.
NJLAD also covers more types of discrimination than just those related to hiring and firing decisions; it applies to all aspects of employment including advertising jobs, recruiting employees, promotion opportunities, wages and benefits paid out by employers, work assignments, training programs, and disciplinary actions taken against employees.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) is the state-level civil rights law that protects individuals from unlawful discrimination in places of public accommodation, employment, housing, and other areas. The NJLAD provides various protections to individuals based on race, color, religion, national origin, nationality, sex (including pregnancy), disability, or sexual orientation.
NJLAD prohibits employers and other entities from retaliating against someone who has complained about or opposed discriminatory practices.
The NJLAD is enforced by the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (NJCRC). Any person who believes they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination can file a complaint with the NJCRC. If an investigation finds evidence of discrimination, remedies such as reinstatement or monetary damages may be available. Additionally, the NJLAD also provides a private right of action for individuals who want to seek justice in court if their complaint is not resolved by the NJCRC.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ensures that everyone has equal access to employment, housing, and public accommodations regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex or disability. It is important to familiarize yourself with its protections and legal remedies so that you know your rights in the event of discrimination.
What if I was fired for testing positive for weed (marijuana)?
If you have a prescription for weed (marijuana) to treat a condition like PTSD then you may have a claim under the NJLAD. Our experienced disability discrimination attorneys at Sadaka law have handled cases like this for clients.
What if a restaurant or store does not accommodate my service animal?
If you have a service animal and a restaurant or store does not accommodate you then you could have a claim under the NJLAD. These are some of the most common disability discrimination cases and if you were denied access to your service animal in a store, restaurant, or public place we would like to hear your story.
What if I get fired after reporting discrimination at work?
If you are fired after reporting discrimination at work, then you may have a claim under the NJLAD. Contact our experienced disability discrimination lawyers today to see if you have a case.
Can I file a complaint if I have a mental or physical impairment?
Yes, you can file a complaint with the EEOC or NJLAD if you have a mental or physical impairment. Discriminating against a person with a mental impairment is disability discrimination. It does not matter if you cannot “see” the disability.
How much time do you have to file an NJLAD Complaint?
In New Jersey, individuals have 180 days to file a complaint of discrimination under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). The time limit may be extended in certain circumstances and also allows complainants to file a charge with both the state and federal EEOC.
Individuals should consult a disability discrimination attorney for more information on filing deadlines. Call us at 1-800-810-3457. We want to hear your story.
What should you do if you believe you suffered disability discrimination?
If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination at work, a store, or a restaurant the first step is to report the conduct to the manager or police. Then you should contact a disability discrimination attorney.
A disability discrimination lawyer can help evaluate your case and advise you of your options for seeking justice.
What is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is an independent federal agency that was established in 1965 by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC works to ensure equal employment opportunities for all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.
The EEOC enforces laws and regulations that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee based on their protected characteristics. It also investigates complaints of discrimination and guides employers on how to create diverse and equitable workplaces.
How much time do you have to file an EEOC Complaint?
The EEOC requires that a complaint be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. The time limit may be extended to 300 days if a state or local agency also enforces the laws prohibiting discrimination. Additionally, if an individual is retaliated against for filing a charge or participating in the investigation, they have up to 300
Are there any remedies available if a violation is found by the EEOC?
If a violation of law is found, the EEOC will investigate the claim and attempt to resolve it through informal methods such as mediation or conciliation. If these attempts are unsuccessful, the EEOC can pursue litigation against employers who violate employment laws.
What happens if the EEOC does not find a violation?
If the EEOC does not find a violation of law then the individual who filed the complaint is free to bring a civil suit against their employer. Individuals have 90 days after receiving notification of their right-to-sue letter from the EEOC to file a lawsuit in federal court.
An experienced disability discrimination attorney can help evaluate your case and advise you of your options for seeking justice. Contact us today to discuss your potential case. We want to hear your story.
What happens after an EEOC complaint is filed?
Once a complaint has been filed with the EEOC, an investigator will be assigned to review the charge and contact witnesses or employers for further information. After gathering evidence, the investigator will decide whether discrimination occurred and if any remedies are necessary. The EEOC may then attempt to reach a voluntary settlement between the parties, pursue litigation against the employer, or dismiss the claim if there is not enough evidence of discrimination.
If you believe your rights have been violated and you would like more information about filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC, contact our disability discrimination lawyers today. It is important to take action if you believe you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace and seek justice for yourself or others affected by discriminatory practices.