A truly civil society recognizes the dignity of every individual, and an important aspect of personal dignity is the ability to work. When employers unreasonably deny work opportunities to a person with a disability, they diminish the worth of that person. At the Law Offices of James Jean-Francois, P.A. in Hollywood, I represent disabled clients who have suffered unlawful discrimination in the workplace. If you want a tireless advocate who will fight for justice on your behalf, you can rely on me. For almost two decades, I have provided determined representation focused on delivering the results my disabled clients deserve.
If you have a disability that does not prevent you from performing the tasks related to your job, you are protected from employment discrimination by state and federal law. On the federal level, the landmark law is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which Congress passed in 1990 and amended in 2008. The ADA offers protections for disabled Americans in several areas: housing, transportation, education, access to private and public facilities, and employment.
In the realm of employment, here is how the law operates: any business with 15 or more employees must provide reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants with disabilities. The law defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.”
A qualified applicant is a person who is capable of performing essential job functions and duties, defined as those tasks that are fundamental to the position. An essential duty is part of the reason a job position exists within the company.
A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to the application process, the job or the work environment that enables an individual with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Accommodations are generally considered reasonable if they do not cause the company undue hardship or present a direct threat.
Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
The applicant or employee has the right to request an accommodation from a covered employer, stating clearly how the lack of an accommodation is interfering with the performance of job duties. If the employer denies the request on the basis of it being unreasonable or unrelated to the job, the applicant or employee can submit the request for accommodation to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for evaluation. If the EEOC approves the accommodation but the employer still will not comply, the worker can file a lawsuit in federal court.
Disabled workers also have protection under Florida’s Civil Rights Act. Workers with disabilities who face unlawful discrimination in employment can sue for compensatory damages, including their mental anguish arising from the mistreatment. Florida courts can also award punitive damages up to $100,000 if an employer’s behavior has been particularly egregious.
If you have a disability and believe you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination, a determined employment law attorney at the Law Offices of James Jean-Francois, P.A. can help you get justice.
The Law Offices of James Jean-Francois, P.A. provides employment law representation for disabled workers who have faced discrimination on the job in the Hollywood area. To schedule a free consultation, call 954-780-8505 or contact my office online. My Hollywood office is conveniently located at 6100 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 211, between Florida’s Turnpike and South State Road 7.