New York employers are forbidden from discriminating against an otherwise-qualified worker due to current, former or perceived disability status. Even if an employee does not have a disability but the employer believes that he or she does, discriminatory actions against the employee are against the law.
Disability discrimination can come in several forms. Failing to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees is one example. Asking medical questions or questions about a disability prior to extending a job offer is another example. In addition, discrimination might include making comments or treating a disabled employee badly.
Discrimination is against the law in many steps in the employment process. This includes hiring, interviewing, the amount of money paid for a job, how people are selected for lay-offs, promotions and firing. While an employer can require a physical examination after offering a job to a disabled worker, they can only do so if they require such exams for all workers hired in the position at the company. Discrimination against an employee because of the disability of his or her spouse or child is also against the law.
Disability discrimination is a reality at many companies. People who believe they have been victims of discrimination may be able to pursue compensation through legal channels. An attorney who is familiar with workplace discrimination may be of assistance. He or she may be able to review an individual employee's work situation in order to make an initial determination whether the failure to accommodate or the alleged harassment endured is grounds for a claim. If so, an attorney may be able to help draft the complaint and assist the person in filing it with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Disability Discrimination", October 20, 2014