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Case

Medical Accommodation Retaliation

Can My Employer Retaliate Against Me Because I Need a Disability Accommodation?

In New Jersey, it is unlawful to retaliate against employees who request and/or need an accommodation of a disability or medical condition. In fact, both the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(d) (LAD), and the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12203(a) (ADA), prohibit retaliation whether it is directed at employees who seek to obtain benefits guaranteed by the law or oppose employers’ violations of the law. That means that employers are engaging in unlawful retaliation if they retaliate against employees because those individuals requested and/or need accommodations of their disabilities to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Employers who take actions against employees because, for example, those workers opposed employers’ unlawful conduct with regard to disability accommodation issues are also engaging in illegal retaliation. Protected opposition includes actions like complaining to management or the employer, participating in employer investigations into medical accommodation issues, contacting a governmental agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or state Division on Civil Rights (DCR), and/or participating in a governmental agency’s process about accommodation disputes, seeking legal advice with regard to such issues, gathering information about employers’ refusal to accommodate by talking to co-workers, filing a complaint about a failure to accommodate a disability, and/or testifying concerning failure to accommodate.

Can I Be Retaliated Against If Was Wrong About My Need for an Accommodation or My Requested Accommodation Was Not Reasonable or If I Was Wrong When I Opposed My Employer’s Conduct?

Yes, you may be protected from retaliation under both the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and Americans with Disabilities Act as long as your request and/or opposition was reasonable and you were acting in good faith.

How Do I Prove That I am Being or Was Retaliated Against?

To prove that you are being unlawfully retaliated against, you have to prove that you either requested or needed an accommodation of your disability or that you opposed employer conduct that you reasonably believed violated the law. You must also show that you were subjected to some adverse action and that the adverse action was caused by your either request for an accommodation or opposition. While that last step may sound difficult, experienced accommodation retaliation attorneys like those at Lenzo & Reis know exactly how to prove if your employer is retaliating or has retaliated against you in connection with a medical accommodation issue.

What Does Unlawful Retaliation Relating to Medical Accommodation Issues Look Like?

Unlawful retaliation for participatory actions often involves an employer treating an employee who needs or requested an accommodation differently than it treated that person before he or she needed or requested any accommodations. Similarly, illegal retaliation for oppositional activities generally involves employees being treated differently after they oppose an employer’s refusal to accommodate than they were treated before engaging in any such oppositional conduct. How employees are treated differently depends on the circumstances and facts of each case. In some cases, employees are fired. In other cases, they are demoted or denied promotions or pay increases. Yet other times, their hours are cut or changed. There are many examples of retaliatory actions that employers may take but it generally simply means being treated differently than you were before. The medical accommodation lawyers at Lenzo & Reis understand not only what illegal workplace retaliation looks like but how to prove its existence as well.

What Should I Do If I Believe That I am Being Retaliated Against Because I Need and/or Requested Medical Accommodations and/or Opposed My Employer’s Failure to Accommodate?

ADA Retaliation is illegal as is retaliation for requesting accommodations under the Law Against Discrimination. No one should be retaliated against because they ask for a reasonable accommodation of their disability so that they can continue working nor should anyone be retaliated against for opposing an unlawful failure to accommodate workers’ disabilities. If you believe that you are being unlawfully retaliated against for requesting a medical accommodation or opposing unlawful conduct under the law, you should immediately contact the disability accommodation retaliation attorneys at Lenzo & Reis either by phone by calling us at (973) 845-9922 or e-mail by clicking here. We have successfully represented countless employees throughout the State of New Jersey who were being or have been retaliated against after either requesting medical accommodations and/or opposing employers’ refusal to accommodate.

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