Under state and federal laws, individuals with disabilities must not be discriminated against in employment matters. A person who has a disability must be given the same opportunity to be hired as a non-disabled person. Employers and potential employers have a duty to reasonably accommodate disabled job applicants and employees. If you feel you were discriminated against by an employer or denied work by a potential employer, you may choose to pursue a claim for damages.

Compensation may be available in the form of back earnings, emotional pain and suffering, and in some instances, punitive damages. Because the Americans with Disabilities Act is complex and constantly changing, it is advisable to obtain the services of an experienced and skilled disability discrimination attorney who can advocate on your behalf. Our St. Louis ADA lawyers have successfully represented clients in a wide range of employment law matters.

What Does Disability Discrimination Mean?

The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against a qualified individual on the basis of their disability or perceived disability. According to 42 United States Code §12112, discriminatory behavior can include classifying job applicants according to their disabled status, making hiring or firing decisions based on a disability, and treating disabled employees differently because of their impairments.

As broad as these protections are, they do not apply to every employer in St. Louis. Under the ADA’s language, only companies that employ 15 or more people are subject to these regulations. These laws also apply to state and local governments, as well as employment agencies and labor unions. A St. Louis attorney could provide more information about employment protections granted by the ADA and determine whether a person’s employer is subject to these laws.

An Employer’s Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodations

Employers have a duty to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. The Americans With Disabilities Act was established to prohibit discriminatory practices in the workplace. Under the ADA, accommodations must be made available for employees with disabilities, such as:

  • Physical accommodations for wheelchairs, walkers, medical equipment;
  • Appropriate physical structures such as ramps, wide doors, open space, handrails;
  • Modification of office furniture and accessories;
  • Restrooms that are accessible for wheelchairs;
  • Modification of schedules to accommodate employees;
  • Transfer or reassign disabled employees to appropriate open positions;
  • Others – ask your St. Louis ADA attorney.

Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations; employees must be able to perform the required duties of the job at issue.

What Makes a Valid ADA Violation Claim?

If you believe you were denied a job because of a disability, or if you were unable to work at a job because the employer did not make a reasonable effort to accommodate your disability, you may have a valid ADA violation claim for compensation. There are many reasons why you may have a valid cause of action. It is advisable to speak with a St. Louis ADA lawyer to discuss the particular details involved in your situation.

These claims can lead to lawsuits in federal court that allege violations of the ADA. However, this is only possible after an individual goes through the proper channels. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has the authority to investigate violations of the ADA. It is possible to file a federal lawsuit against the offending employer after receiving a Right to Sue Notice from the EEOC.

State law also provides that workers can submit a complaint to the Missouri Commission on Human Rights no more than 180 days after discrimination. This commission operates in much the same way as the EEOC and will attempt to bring the case to a fair settlement. However, parties in this situation also have the option of filing a private lawsuit in civil court. Employers with six or more employees are subject to Missouri discrimination laws.

Call a St. Louis ADA Attorney for Help

All people in St. Louis have the right to pursue a career free from harassment or discrimination based on their disabilities. If a worker is otherwise qualified to hold a job, but an employer does not give them a fair chance to perform because of their disability, this may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A St. Louis ADA lawyer at our firm could help you protect your legal rights. Let a member of our team explain the ADA’s intricacies, perform an investigation into the event, and pursue appropriate remedies in state court, federal court, or both. Contact an experienced attorney at our firm to discuss your situation.