Do you believe that you have been demoted, fired, disciplined, harassed, retaliated against, or otherwise treated negatively by your employer (or potential employer) because of your disability or the disability of a family member? Has your employer refused to provide you a reasonable accommodation in order to accommodate your disability? If so, you may have a legal claim against your employer and should take action promptly.
Where do I file my claim for disability discrimination?
In most states, you cannot go straight to court to file a lawsuit for disability discrimination. You must first file a complaint (also known as a “charge”) of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or your state’s antidiscrimination agency. For additional information, the EEOC explains where you can file a claim for a disability discrimination: https://www.eeoc.gov/how-file-charge-employment-discrimination.
When do I have to file?
There are strict time limits for filing a charge of discrimination. A charge of disability discrimination generally is filed within 180 days from the date of discrimination. However, if the state where the discrimination occurred has its own laws prohibiting discrimination based on disability, you may have up to 300 days to file the charge of discrimination.
What information should I include in my complaint?
It is essential that you provide as much information as you can on the charge form and/or intake questionnaire (if applicable). You will be asked to include basic identificatory information:
- Date of birth; and
- Phone number.
You will also be asked to identify the following your employer:
- The company name;
- Number of employees;
- Address; and
- Phone number.
On top of that, you will be required to identify the following regarding your claim of discrimination:
- Which type of discrimination occurred, such as race, religion, and/or disability; and
- When the discrimination began and the date of the most recent discrimination.
Then, you will be asked to provide the details of what happened. In this section, make sure to provide sufficient details to describe the discrimination. You should include the following:
- Job duties;
- Work history with the employer;
- Harm that resulted as a result of its actions;
- Witnesses of the incident(s);
- Reason(s) for why the employer said it took the action(s) against you;
- Evidence of how your co-workers who are not disabled were treated better than you; and
- Any other evidence to strengthen your claims.
How can an attorney help me with a claim for disability discrimination?
Hiring an attorney is often advisable if you believe you have been the victim of disability discrimination in the workplace or need a reasonable accommodation. The ADA and Rehab Act place a variety of requirements on employees and employers that both sides must be careful to meet. An attorney experienced in disability discrimination and failure to accommodate can ensure you fulfill your obligations and uncover where the other side has failed to meet the requirements of the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. This can help you negotiate a reasonable accommodation or resolution to an unfair employment action or hostile work environment.