301.564.0456

Disability Discrimination Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville, Gaithersburg

Today, disabled individuals are making extraordinary contributions to our society and they have been welcomed in many workplaces. However, some businesses avoid hiring disabled workers because of  preconceived notions about their productivity or the costs associated with providing accommodations.

The Baror Law Firm routinely fights for disabled individuals who have been victims of employment discrimination and harassment. If you have been denied an accommodation or fired, harassed or discriminated against because of a disability, we will vigorously fight for your rights.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), it is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or applicants in all employment decisions, including hiring, pay, promoting, training, and firing. The law applies to private employers with at least 15 employees. In addition most states have laws that prohibit discrimination based on disability. Lastly, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is designed to prevent disability discrimination and harassment of federal employees or entities which receive federal funds, such as school districts, county agencies, and federal contractors.

What is a disability?

The ADA defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits a person's ability to engage in major life activities, including walking, seeing, sitting, hearing, speaking, breathing,  learning, lifting, performing manual tasks, and taking care of oneself. The disability must be perceived as longstanding and permanent which means that temporary ailments are not protected disabilities. However, episodic impairments, such as epilepsy, or conditions in remission, such as cancer, can qualify as disabilities meriting legal protection. Moreover, the ADA and similar statutes also protect those who are “regarded as disabled” whether or not they are actually disabled, and those who have a record of a disability. 

Moreover, the ADA was modified in 2008 by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) which added major bodily functions to the list of major life activities. These include the proper function of bodily systems or processes such as the immune system, normal cell growth, and digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive functions.

Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Disability discrimination in the workplace can occur in a number of ways such as when a disabled worker is terminated, disciplined, passed over for a promotion, or denied a reasonable accommodation. In short, anything that adversely affects the terms and conditions of employment of a disabled worker may be considered discrimination.

In addition, discrimination can occur during the application process when an employer refuses to hire a disabled applicant or one who is regarded as having a disability. Moreover, an employer cannot ask an applicant about his or disability as a condition of making a job offer.

Disability Discrimination and Harassment

Under state and federal law, it is also illegal to harass an employee or applicant who has a disability or is believed to have a permanent physical or mental impairment. Harassment occurs when offensive remarks are made about a person's disability. This does not include simple teasing or isolated incidents that are not serious. However, harassment that is so frequent or pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment or leads to an adverse employment action, such as firing or demotion, is illegal.

Who is protected by the ADA?

The ADA protects employees who have a disability as well as those with a history of impairment. This means that it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of his or her previous disability (such as cancer that is in remission). In addition, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee who an employer perceives to be disabled, whether or not the employee is actually disabled. 

The ADA specifically protects a qualified worker with a disability, that is, a disabled employee or job applicant who has the necessary education, skills and experience and is capable of performing the essential duties of the job, with or without an accommodation.

What is a reasonable accommodation?

Under the ADA, covered employers are required to provide qualified workers with a "reasonable accommodation" This is an adjustment or modification to a position or workplace that allows an employee to perform his or her job, such as: 

  • A transfer
  • A flexible work schedule
  • A leave from work to obtain medical treatment
  • Removing non-essential duties from the job requirements
  • Making the workplace accessible for wheelchair users
  • Providing a reader or interpreter for a worker who is blind or hearing impaired

The accommodation does not have to be provided if the employee does not need one or it would pose an undue hardship the employer such as significant difficulty or expense. In this regard, an employer needs to show that the accommodation would be too costly, extensive or disruptive to the business.

In the end, pursuing a discrimination claim based on disability can be complicated. If you intend to file a lawsuit under the ADA you must first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will investigate the matter and may settle the claim through mediation.

Dedicated Disability Discrimination Attorneys in Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring and Rockville

The experienced attorneys at the Baror Law Firm routinely represent disabled workers before the EEOC. If your claim is not resolved by the agency, we are prepared to litigate the matter in court. Our team has helped many disabled workers obtain accommodations and recovered compensation for those who have been fired, harassed or discriminated against because of a disability. We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and we are committed to eradicating disability discrimination from the workplace.

The Baror Law Firm helps victims of disability discrimination throughout Maryland including Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville and Gaithersburg. Gives us a call at 301.812.4546 for more information or feel free to fill out the contact form on the side of the page. 



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| Phone: 301.564.0456

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