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Disability Discrimination

Thursday, December 20, 2018

NJ Employee’s Hidden Disability


Disabilities under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) may be visible or hidden, physical or non-physical. Disabled persons’ Companion dogs are not necessarily service dogs under the statute. Disabilities such as a heart condition or breast cancer may not be apparent to a supervisor or onlooker. An employee who has a disability which requires an accommodation should notify the employer in writing about the disability and the accommodation required. This is particularly true when it is a hidden disability or when it is not readily discernible unless it is brought to one’s attention.


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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Pregnancy Discrimination at Work Can Be a Triple Bias in NJ


A worker who is pregnant and experiences a negative change in her employer’s attitude after disclosing her pregnancy to the employer, is experiencing three types of discrimination- sex, disability and pregnancy discrimination - rolled into one bias. If you are pregnant, protections for you exist under numerous federal and state laws. If your employer failed to renew your annual contract or terminated you after you disclosed to your employer that you are pregnant, or if upon returning from a pregnancy leave, your employer did not hold your job for you, you may be eligible for back pay, front pay and damages.

Until the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) was amended to specifically include “pregnancy” as its own protected class, lawyers bringing claims under the NJLAD had to allege sex and/or disability discrimination, because pregnancy at that time was not its own distinct class requiring protections.

Male workers who requested time off or a reasonable accommodation for a disability due to a medical condition related to their reproductive systems,  were frequently allowed a reasonable accommodation or time off for medical leave to properly deal with their disability, while  pregnant women who requested an accommodation that will allow them to maintain a healthy pregnancy, or who needed a reasonable accommodation while recovering from childbirth, were either terminated, or not had their annual contract renewed or otherwise removed from their positions based on bogus reasons given by the employer.


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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

When My Employer Won’t Allow Extended Leave for Medical Treatments


This Article updates the Thursday, October 12, 2017, post, “Employer Breast Cancer Discrimination Because I Am Female?” which described the case of a corporate executive, a female who was head of original programming for a major cable television network, was fired in while on medical leave for breast cancer.

Sometimes an employer illegally discriminates against a woman with breast cancer because of a bias against women in addition to disability discrimination. One of the more common forms of discrimination against a female worker with breast cancer is when the employer will not allow an extended FMLA leave or another type of accommodation that the employer routinely gives to male employees with cancer.


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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

I Work for a Small Employer, Can I Get Time Off for My Own Medical Condition?


It comes as a surprise to many that the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which grants family and temporary medical leave under certain circumstances, does not apply to all employers and that not all employees are covered under the Act.

Which Employers Are Required to Give FMLA Leave?

For the FMLA to apply, the employer, if a private employer, must have 50 or more employees. Private employers with fewer than 50 employees are not covered by the FMLA, but may be covered by state family and medical leave laws.

However, if you are an employee for a government agency, including elementary and secondary schools, local, state and government agencies, the FMLA applies to all such employers, regardless of the number of employees.

If My Employer Has over 50 Employees, Does That Mean I Will Be Allowed FMLA Leave?

Persons have come to me assuming that if they work for a large employer, they will automatically be entitled to leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Employer Breast Cancer Discrimination Because I Am Female?


Unfortunately, yes, it sometimes happens that an employer illegally discriminates against a woman with breast cancer because of a bias against women in addition to disability discrimination.  One of the more common forms of discrimination against a female worker with breast cancer is when the employer will not allow an extended FMLA leave that the employer routinely gives to male employees with cancer. Rising female executives may still have to combat a good old boys' club atmosphere which is hostile to the advancement of woman.


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Monday, April 10, 2017

Employer’s Failure to Investigate Alleged Employee Rule Breaking Leads to $ 4.5 Million Verdict


A recent Federal case in Florida underscores the importance of an employer doing a thorough investigation. In Axel v. Fields Motorcars of Florida, Inc., No. 8:15-cv-893-17JSS (M.


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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Can I Be Fired for Being Anorexic, Bulimic or Obese, Underweight or Overweight?


If you are fired or discriminated against at work for being overweight or underweight, whether or not your employer is violating the law depends on whether the employer is applying standards that illegally discriminate against a class of employees that is protected by law, such as based on sex, disability, pregnancy, etc. Persons who are dangerously overweight, i.e., morbidly obese, and those underweight who have anorexia have a disability that gives them a protected status. If you are such a person and are being discriminated against, you should not sit on your rights.


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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Year's End Terminations: Legal Firings or Illegal “Culling the Herd” of Older Workers?


It comes as little surprise to many,  that employers often hand out their pink slips at the end of December. While this may seem to be emotionally the worst time of year to inform workers that they no longer have a job, it does not make it any more illegal than at any other time. It is only significant if employer applies an illegal basis, such as age,  when choosing which employees will be let go and which will remain. Age must be a bona fide occupational qualification for an employer to have a rule mandating retirement at a specified age.

If you are an older employee and the year-end pink slips were disproportionally given to the older workers such as yourself, the employer might be illegally discriminating.


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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cancer Discrimination Can Take Many Forms: Failure to Accommodate, Denial of Opportunities for Training and Promotions, and Outright Harassment.


Cancer survivors and those in treatment are entitled to reasonable accommodations at their workplace to allow them to remain employed. Cancer survivors and those in treatment should not have to suffer discrimination at work and numerous state and federal laws prohibit discrimination against an employee who had or has cancer, or are perceived as having cancer.

This firm has successfully represented cancer survivors, both private and  public employees. To persons diagnosed with cancer, treating for it, or having survived it and returned to work, don’t give up! The law is on your side for an employer to make reasonable accommodations that will allow you to remain employed. 

Reasonable Accommodations to Remain Employed

An employee who has cancer should request a reasonable accommodation from their employer that will allow them to remain employed if that accommodation is necessary.


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Friday, October 7, 2016

Associational Disability: Can My Employer Discriminate Against Me Because My Relative Is Disabled?


NJ State and Federal law prohibit discrimination against an employee because of the employee’s associations with a disabled person. An employer may not discriminate against you because of your association with a disabled person, or a person who is merely perceived to be disabled, if not in fact disabled. This protection applies not only to permanent and full-time employees but also to part-time and temporary workers. 

The disabled person need not be a relative of the employee; he/she could be a roommate, a friend or other associate. This protected category is known as associational disability discrimination.


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Friday, September 30, 2016

Can I Sue My Employer for Violating My Free Speech Rights under the First Amendment? Part II


As stated earlier on this site, if you work for a private employer you may not sue your employer for violating your free speech rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution ( not to be confused with individual state constitutions) which establishes limits only on the government’s infringement of speech rights but not on a private employer’s curtailing of speech of its employees.

The  U.S.


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