If your employer fired you because of your disability, you may have a valid wrongful termination claim. Federal and New Jersey laws forbid employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities. The best way to protect your rights is to consult an experienced wrongful termination attorney.
At Castronovo & McKinney, LLC, we know how to hold employers accountable for wrongful termination due to disability. When you work with us, we will provide compassionate, effective representation and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today for a free consultation.
About Disability Discrimination Laws
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protect employees with disabilities from discrimination and wrongful termination. The ADA defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that limits a person’s ability to perform daily life activities such as:
- Walking, standing, or sitting
- Seeing, hearing, or speaking
- Performing manual tasks
- Taking care of oneself
Notably, the ADA only applies to employers with 15 or more employees. However, disabled employees have stronger legal protections under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) because it applies to all employers, regardless of the number of employees.
Also, state law defines disability more broadly and includes:
- Physical disability, infirmity, malformation, or disfigurement
- Physical illness or disease
- Visual/hearing impairments
- Speech impediments
- AIDS, HIV infection, and blood traits
Moreover, the NJLAD covers nonphysical impairments, such as mental, psychological, or developmental disabilities, that:
- Prevent the exercise of any bodily or mental functions or
- Can be demonstrated through clinical or diagnostic tests
Finally, unlike the ADA, the NJLAD does not require you to pursue an administrative complaint before filing a claim for wrongful termination due to disability.
The ADA and the NJLAD also require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities that enable them to perform essential job functions. Examples of reasonable accommodation include:
- Restructuring job duties
- Reassigning the employee
- Providing equipment, such as readers and interpreters
- Making the workplace wheelchair accessible
- Offering a flexible work schedule
- Granting time off to obtain medical treatment
Employers must engage in an “interactive process” with the employee to determine whether an accommodation is necessary; however, employers need not provide an accommodation that poses an undue hardship – one that is too costly or disruptive to the operations. At the same time, employers cannot fire employees who request reasonable accommodation.
Identifying Wrongful Termination Due To Disability
You may have a valid wrongful termination claim under the following circumstances:
- You were fired after you informed your employer about your disability or requested a reasonable accommodation
- Your employer assumed that you were unable to do your job because of your disability
- Your employer unfairly denied your request for a reasonable accommodation
- Your employer treated you less fairly than other employees who are not disabled, for example, denying your request for time off related to your disability while granting such requests from other employees for different reasons
- Your employer fired you based on perceptions of your disability
- Your supervisor or coworkers made disparaging comments about your disability
Proving wrongful termination is challenging because employers have the upper hand when making employment decisions and know how to disguise their discriminatory and illegal motives. Trust our experienced New Jersey disability discrimination lawyer to hold your employer accountable and get you just compensation.
Damages We Will Fight For
If we prove your disability discrimination claim, the court may reinstate you to your position; however, this is not usually feasible. Instead, it is more common to win monetary damages, including:
- Lost wages – back pay and front pay
- The value of lost benefits such as health insurance and vacation time
- Compensatory damages for pain and suffering
- Damages for emotional distress caused by disability discrimination and wrongful termination
- Attorney fees and court costs
- Punitive damages, intended to punish your employer for its illegal and discriminatory conduct
You can depend on our attorneys to get you the maximum compensation you deserve. We have a proven ability to negotiate favorable settlements, but if necessary we will take your case to trial to achieve the desired outcome.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Wrongful Termination Attorney
Being disabled presents daily challenges; being fired due to your disability is illegal. Let Castronovo & McKinney handle your claim, fight for your rights, and win you just compensation. We offer free consultation and there is never a fee until we win damages for you. Contact us today so we can start working on your wrongful termination claim.