The leading Fort Lauderdale ADA claims lawyers at Anidjar & Levine are dedicated to fighting for the rights of employees who suffer discrimination because of their disability. We have extensive experience handling all types of ADA claims, recovering compensation for disabled workers in Fort Lauderdale and other areas of Florida.
It is unlawful to discriminate against qualified employees based on their disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the provisions of the ADA. Despite the various protections provided by federal civil rights laws, the EEOC still receives more charges of disability discrimination than any other type of complaint. The EEOC received approximately 25,000 ADA claims in 2011 alone. According to recent statistics, the Commission expects to receive approximately 30,000 new complaints this year. This represents a 42% increase in the number of claims filed since 2009.
The ADA defines “disability” as any physical, mental, or medical impairment that affects one or more body systems and limits a major life activity. The law also covers any health impairment that requires special education or related services, such as a telecommunication relay service. The ADA does not only protect individuals with actual disabilities, but also those who “have a record of” impairment or are “regarded as having” an impairment. Thus, perception is important under the ADA. An employer who suspects an applicant or employee has cancer cannot ask about the illness or compel disclosure of medical records. They are also prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their “relationship or association with” other individuals with disabilities. This includes disabled spouses and family members.
Examples of physical and medical disabilities protected under the ADA include:
- Genetic diseases
- Anatomical losses
- Physiological disorders
- Cosmetic disfigurements
- Physical health impairments
- Mental retardation
- Learning disabilities
- Organic brain syndrome
- Mental or emotional illness
- Other psychological disorders
Title I of the ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees. It requires them to give disabled individuals a chance to benefit from the same employment-related opportunities available to others. This means employers are prohibited from discriminating against disabled applicants or employees in any aspect of work, including pay, hiring, recruitment, promotions, and other employment privileges. Under this section, employers are restricted from asking questions about an applicant’s disability during an interview or before making a job offer. Discrimination includes segregating, limiting, or characterizing disabled applicants or employees in a manner “adversely affecting” the individual’s status or employment opportunities.
Under the ADA, employers must also provide reasonable accommodation to the known “physical or mental limitations” of disabled workers, unless doing so would result in “undue hardship.” This may involve hiring interpreters for individuals with hearing impairments or using rooms accessible to wheelchairs during the recruitment process. Employers are also prohibited from using unfair testing criteria to “weed out” applicants with disabilities.
ADA claims must be filed with the EEOC within 180 days of the date of discrimination or 300 days if the charge is filed with a designated state local fair employment practice agency. Workers alleging disability discrimination must first file a charge with the EEOC before they can bring suit against their employers in federal court. The EEOC will investigate the complaint and issue a “right-to-sue” letter if it determines there has been a violation of the ADA.
If you have suffered disability discrimination, the caring Fort Lauderdale ADA violation attorneys of Anidjar & Levine can help. At Anidjar & Levine, we have extensive experience handling employment discrimination claims and are dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. We can assist you in filing a claim with the EEOC and present your case in the most favorable light. Because the complaint and appeals process is somewhat complex, our attorneys can help you cut through the red tape and aggressively pursue your claim. We provide the highest quality legal representation to workers throughout Florida. Call 800-747-3733 for a free consultation or contact us online.