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Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms of employment. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees.
You don't have to fight disability discrimination alone. Reach out to Remer, Georges-Pierre & Hoogerwoerd, PLLC for a consultation at 305.416.5000.
Who Is Covered?
An individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and has a record of the impairment. A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question.
What Are Reasonable Accommodations?
A reasonable accommodation for an employee with a disability may include any of the following:
- Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities
- Job restructuring
- Modifying work schedules
- Modifying equipment, devices, or examinations
- Providing qualified readers or interpreters
An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee, if the accommodation does not impose an "undue hardship" on the operation of the employer's business.
Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an employer's size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation. An employer is not required to lower quality or production standards to make an accommodation for a disabled employee.
Also, an employer is not obligated to provide personal use items such as glasses or hearing aids. Under the ADA, employers may not ask job applicants about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. However, applicants may be asked about their ability to perform specific job functions and a job offer may be conditioned on the results of a medical examination (if the examination is required for all entering employees in similar jobs, job related, and is consistent with the business needs of the employer).
What Does the ADA Say About Retaliation?
An employer cannot retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on a disability, which includes filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in a proceeding under the ADA. Participation, in this case, means taking part in an employment discrimination proceeding. Participation is protected activity even if the proceeding involved claims that ultimately were found to be invalid.
If you have any questions about disability discrimination, call Remer, Georges-Pierre & Hoogerwoerd, PLLC for a consultation at 305.416.5000 or fill out our online request form.
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