Disability Discrimination

New York City Disability Discrimination Attorneys

Under federal and state law, it is illegal to discriminate against another individual based upon perceived or actual disability in any context of life, from education to housing, employment to accessibility. Under New York City law, disability is defined as “a past or present physical or mental impairment that substantially limits or has limited one or more major life activities.”

Disability discrimination in the workplace may be intentional or unintentional by employers such as policies that may be neutral on face value, but in practice inhibit some employees in their functions. If you are a victim of disability discrimination in a New York City workplace, you need Brown Kwon & Lam.

According to the CDC, 26% of adults in the United States, nearly one in four, have some sort of disability, meaning that there are many employees in our workforce with disabilities. While many adults live with a disability, whether it’s permanent or temporary, they may still suffer unfair treatment, discrimination, and harassment in the workplace. However, federal, state, and local laws provide various protections to employees with disabilities.

At Brown Kwon & Lam, we help New York City employees protect their employee rights and fight back against employment discrimination, such as disability discrimination. If you have a disability, learn more about the rights you have in the workplace and what you can do to get help if your rights are violated.

Get in touch with a professional disability discrimination lawyer in NYC at Brown Kwon & Lam by completing our online form or dialing (212) 295-5828.

Employment Disability Discrimination in New York City

It is illegal for employers to discriminate against a qualified employee or applicant based on disability in any aspect of employment. 

Workplace discrimination can occur in the following ways:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Pay
  • Job assignments
  • Promotions
  • Layoff
  • Training
  • Benefits
  • Any other terms or conditions of employment

However, there are laws that protect employees and potential employees from such forms of discrimination.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), “private employers with 15 or more employees, 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, conditions, and privileges of employment.”

In 2008, the ADA expanded disability coverage to include:

  • “An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not limit other major life activities in order to be considered a disability.”
  • “An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.”
  • “The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as (I) medication, medical supplies, equipment … prosthetics … hearing aids and cochlear implants … mobility devices, or oxygen therapy equipment and supplies; (II) use of assistive technology; (III) reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services; or (IV) learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications.”

New York City State Human Rights Law

Under the disability provisions of the New York City State Human Rights Law, New York City employers must provide employees with “reasonable accommodations” that allow an employee or prospective employee with a disability to perform the activities involved in the position they are seeking.

This may include:

  • Accessible worksite
  • Modified equipment
  • Support services for those who may be hearing or vision impaired
  • Job restructuring
  • Modified work schedule

In addition, though much of the responsibilities lie on the employer, employees must cooperate in providing medical or other information that is necessary to verify the existence of the disability or pregnancy-related condition, or that is necessary for consideration of the accommodation.

Under the law, such medical information is to be kept confidential. The New York City City Human Rights Law encompasses many of the same principles but specifically protects those employees who work in New York City City.

Employees With Disabilities Have Rights

Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable accommodations help allow employees with disabilities to perform their job duties. Under state, federal, and local law, it could be considered discriminatory to deny an employee a reasonable accommodation, so long as this accommodation doesn’t cause the employer undue hardship. What is considered an undue hardship may vary from employer to employer, as the resources employers have available to them can vary greatly.


The ADA also provides employees with confidentiality regarding their medical information. Employers must keep documents regarding an employee’s medical conditions and treatment separate from their personnel file. Employers also can’t discuss when an employee has requested or received a reasonable accommodation. However, there are situations where an employee with a disability or medical condition isn’t covered by the ADA’s confidentiality requirements. In some cases, if an employer voluntarily discloses a disability in a way that’s unrelated to a medical injury. 

Employers may also need to share information regarding a disability or reasonable accommodations with others even when the employee is protected by the ADA. For example, supervisors may need to know about the disability or reasonable accommodation or they may need to share this information with their insurance company.  

Common Forms of Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination can take forms in many ways. Some forms of discrimination are more prevalent than others. 

Some of the most common forms of disability discrimination in the workplace include:

Disability Discrimination In The Workplace: Awarded Damages

When you face these forms of discrimination, you may wonder what you can be awarded in a successful lawsuit. Such damages awarded in New York disability discrimination cases include:

  • Past lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Lost benefits
  • Emotional Distress
  • Attorneys’ Fees
  • Punitive Damages

Fighting for Your Rights: Our Approach to Disability Discrimination Cases

The values we uphold at Brown Kwon & Lam revolve around advocating for the rights of those who face disability discrimination in the workplace. We are deeply committed to our clients, providing flexible availability and personalized attention to ensure that each case is handled meticulously. We are ardent advocates, working tirelessly to eliminate discrimination and foster fair workplaces, drawing on years of extensive experience in employment law. Your journey begins with a free consultation, which allows us to understand your situation and tailor a strong legal strategy to your specific needs. Count on us to be your steadfast allies in the fight for fairness and equality in the workplace.

When you choose us to represent you in a disability discrimination case, you can expect:

  • Compassionate and personalized attention: We take the time to listen to your story and understand the unique circumstances of your case. We believe in building strong relationships with our clients and providing them with the support they need throughout the legal process.
  • Extensive knowledge and expertise: Our attorneys have a deep understanding of federal and state laws regarding disability discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New York City Human Rights Law. We stay up-to-date with the latest legal developments to ensure we provide you with the most effective representation.
  • Strategic and aggressive advocacy: We are passionate about fighting for justice and holding employers accountable for their discriminatory actions. Our team will develop a strong legal strategy tailored to your specific case, utilizing our negotiation skills and courtroom experience to pursue the best possible outcome.
  • Proven track record of success: We have a history of achieving favorable results for our clients in disability discrimination cases. Our attorneys have secured significant settlements and verdicts, helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve for lost wages, emotional distress, and other damages.

If you believe you have been a victim of disability discrimination in the workplace, don't wait to seek justice. Contact Brown Kwon & Lam to schedule a free initial consultation with our experienced disability discrimination attorneys.

Contact Our Disability Discrimination Lawyers in New York, NY

Seeking justice for disability discrimination in NYC? Choose Brown Kwon & Lam, your trusted NYC disability discrimination lawyers. We're committed to defending your rights. Contact us today for a consultation. Your fight is our fight. Don't wait, let's stand together for justice!

 Contact a skilled discrimination attorney in NYC to get started on your case.

Helpful Resources

Fight Disability Discrimination in New York Workplaces

As a New York-based employee, you have a right to a safe and accessible workplace. 

If you believe that you were a victim of disability discrimination or harassment, contact Brown Kwon & Lam.

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