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_Americans with Disabilities Act

Americans with DisabilitiesThe U.S. Census Bureau published these facts about disabled Americans in 2010:

●  54 million people in the U.S. have a disability.
● Disabled Americans represent about 19% of the population.
●  Visual disabilities affect 1.8 million Americans.
●  1 million people cannot hear conversations.
●  Speech disabilities affect 2.5 million people.
●  Almost half of people aged 21 to 64 who have a disability are employed.
● 13.3 million Americans say a health condition affects their ability to find or keep a job.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Nearly one in five Americans has a disability, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. That’s more than 54 million people nationwide. Nearly one in four of working age says that their health condition adversely affects their ability to find and keep employment – a serious issue, and one that legislators sought to address with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Referred to as the ADA, the law prohibits disability discrimination in a number of considerations related to employment.

New York disability discrimination lawyers at The Law Offices of Newman & Drukman can advise you about your rights if you believe your employer or a prospective employer has discriminated against you because of a disability. Our New York employment law attorneys know the ADA’s provisions. We also have comprehensive knowledge of state discrimination laws. Our attorneys have the experience and the litigation skills needed to effectively evaluate your claim and take the appropriate action on your behalf.

If you are an employer who has been threatened with a claim of discrimination based on the ADA, contact our experienced lawyers for advice. We can investigate the facts of the claim and assess your liability. Our knowledgeable disability discrimination lawyers will work to reduce your risk and to satisfactorily resolve disputes before they progress to litigation.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employment discrimination against existing employees and job applicants that it designates “qualified individuals with disabilities.” A disabled person is one whose mental or physical impairment “substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.”

“Qualified” is an important concept. It means that you have the skills, education, experience and other capabilities required to perform the essential duties of the job you hold or seek. In other words, your disability aside, you have all the necessary qualifications for the work you do or want to do. The ADA doesn’t give you preference over other qualified applicants, it is designed to give you equal standing in an employer’s eyes.

When you consult the veteran New York disability discrimination attorneys at The Law Offices of Newman & Drukman, we can explain the types of activity that violate the ADA. Generally, they include an employer’s refusal to:

●  Make reasonable accommodation for an employee’s disability.
●  Hire a job applicant who is qualified just because he or she is disabled or perceived to be.
●  Keep job interview questions within appropriate limits, instead asking about disabilities and their                effect on job performance.

How often does discrimination on the basis of disability happen? In 2010, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – the agency responsible for enforcing the ADA – received a record number of claims: 25,165. Nearly 11% of those claims resulted in settlements. The EEOC reports monetary benefits of more than $76 million for the year.

If the EEOC’s investigation of a claim doesn’t find that the alleged discrimination occurred, you may still choose to pursue action against an employer. In cases where the agency does determine that an employer discriminated, it will act to settle the claim. If that effort isn’t successful, you may still choose to sue in federal or state court. In addition, the EEOC may take its own enforcement action against the employer. Discrimination against you may be resolved through the employer’s hiring you, by reasonable accommodation, payment of back wages, payment of your attorney’s fees or by other means.

When you believe you’re the victim of discrimination based on disability, the New York employment law attorneys at The Law Offices of Newman & Drukman can advise you about filing a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Our disability discrimination lawyers are experienced advocates for those who face unfair employment practices. We are accomplished negotiators and litigators who are committed to protecting your rights. For employers, we are a proven resource for accurate legal advice and we can take action on your behalf when a discrimination claim threatens your business. Contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation.

The Law Offices of Newman & Drukman represent clients throughout the New York City and Long Island area, including Queens, the Bronx, and Nassau and Suffolk counties.