Despite the advances we’ve made to accommodate people with disabilities, disabled employees in Washington State and across the country still experience discrimination. An employer may pass an applicant over for a job or a promotion because of your disability, or a student may be denied admission to a school because of a disability. In other cases, employers fail to make reasonable accommodations for a disability that would allow an employee to perform his or her job.
Consult With a Snohomish County Americans with Disabilities Act Lawyer Today
If you’ve experienced discrimination due to a disability, attorney Kristi Favard of Sapphire Legal, PLLC, wants to hear from you. She is an experienced Americans with Disabilities Act lawyer who is passionate about fighting for victim’s rights. Ms. Favard also has a proven track record of successfully representing clients in ADA discrimination cases throughout Washington State. Contact you today to schedule your initial consultation.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a significant piece of civil rights legislation enacted into law in 1990. A federal law, the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in schools, workplaces, transportation, and in virtually all aspects of private and public life. The ADA also guarantees that individuals with disabilities have equal opportunity in their employment, state and local government services, telecommunications, and transportation.
Who Is Protected Under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
The ADA protects a wide range of individuals with disabilities. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Physical and mental impairments can qualify as protected disabilities under the ADA. Additionally, health impairments that require special education or related types of services can be covered under the ADA. The most common types of impairments and disabilities covered by the ADA include the following:
- hearing impairments that limit a person’s ability to perform major life activities
- vision impairment, including the loss of visual acuity or loss of vision field
- mobility impairments, such as paralysis, muscular dystrophy, and spinal cord injuries
- learning disabilities, such as dyspraxia, dyslexia, and dyscalculia
- special conditions such as pregnancy or cancer that require unique schedules
Does Your Medical Condition Qualify As a Disability?
You may be wondering whether your medical condition qualifies as a disability. There are three different ways to determine whether your condition qualifies you for ADA protection. First, you can have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, often called having an “actual disability.” Major life activities include sleeping, eating, walking, seeing, hearing, and caring for oneself.
Additionally, you can qualify by having a record of a physical or mental illness that substantially limited a major life activity. Finally, you can be eligible when a covered entity takes action prohibited by the ADA because of an actual or perceived impairment that is not transitory and minor. Discussing your case with an experienced employment lawyer can help you understand whether your medical condition will qualify for disability.
What Constitutes an ADA Violation in Washington?
Under the ADA, people with disabilities are entitled to equal opportunities in four key areas: employment, public accommodations, transportation, and housing. When a company’s discriminatory barrier prevents a disabled person from accessing one of these things equally, it may count as an ADA violation. The ADA prohibits private and public employers from discriminating against applicants and employees with a disability in any aspect of employment, including the following:
- job assignments
Examples of ADA Violations
ADA violations can take many different forms in the workplace. A violation could be as blatant as an employer posting a job that discourages applicants with a disability from applying. Discrimination can also involve an employer terminating, demoting, harassing, or failing to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees. Other types of actions that can constitute an ADA violation could include:
- insufficient handrails in a walkway
- failure to provide wheelchair ramps in necessary areas
- inadequate restroom facilities
- a lack of parking spots for disabled individuals
- neglecting to maintain a wheelchair ramp
- failure to provide an employee with a flexible schedule when needed
Submitting an ADA Complaint Against Your Employer
The ADA provides disabled victims of discrimination a way to seek recourse from their employers. Victims of discrimination have a right to file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you believe that you have been discriminated against, it’s wise to discuss your case with a lawyer soon as possible. In most cases, a discrimination claim must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. You may have up to 300 days to file a claim under Washington’s laws.
After you file a claim with the EEOC, they will investigate your claim. If they determine there is reasonable cause to believe the charge against your employer is true, they will attempt to settle the charge between you and your employer. If that isn’t possible, they will refer the claim to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice can decide whether to bring a lawsuit against your employer.
If the Department of Justice decides not to bring a lawsuit, they will give you a notice of the right to sue. At that point, you will be able to file a civil lawsuit against your employer for damages, including compensation, front pay, back pay, and other types of restitution.
Discuss Your Potential ADA Case With a Seattle Employment Lawyer
Have you been discriminated against based on your membership in a protected class? If so, you may be entitled to remedies through the Americans with Disabilities Act. Attorney Kristi Favard will review the facts in your case and advise you of your legal options. She has successfully handled many ADA cases and knows how to investigate, document, and submit ADA claims. Contact Sapphire Legal, PLLC, today to schedule your initial consultation.