Disability Discrimination – Failure to Accommodate
Under Connecticut law and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 (ADA), an employer must provide “reasonable accommodations” to an employee with a disability who is qualified to perform a job. These accommodations may be modifications to facilities, schedules or job responsibilities.
However, some employers refuse to make such modifications and may make negative decisions about hiring, promotion or termination when a disabled employee is unable to perform certain tasks. Employees who are victims of such decisions have recourse under the law.
Connecticut Employment Lawyer for Failure to Accommodate Disability Cases
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, we are experienced in working with clients who have experienced discrimination due to an employer’s failure to accommodate a disability. A Connecticut disability discrimination lawyer can seek lost pay and other damages, as well as injunctive relief to compensate you for the discrimination that you have suffered. Fill out our online form today so that we can review the details of your case.
Attorney Richard Hayber has a record of accomplishment in disability law. In 2008, he represented the plaintiff in Curry v. Allan S. Goodman, which set precedent clarifying that state law places a duty on employers to provide accommodations for employees with disabilities.
We are based in Hartford and represent clients throughout Connecticut, including Milford, Manchester, Stamford, Waterbury, Fairfield, and Norwalk.
Key Issues in a Failure to Accommodate Disability Discrimination Case
Here are some key questions that occur in disability discrimination cases involving failure to accommodate:
- Do you have a disability?
- Did you let your employer know about your disability and propose a reasonable accommodation?
- Would you have been qualified for job, and would you have been able to perform all essential functions of the job had an accommodation been provided?
Information on Reasonable Accommodation Cases
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60 and the ADA forbid discrimination on the basis of a person’s disability. These laws require employers to provide a “reasonable accommodation” for an employee who would be qualified to perform the essential functions of a job with the accommodation.
An accommodation is reasonable if it is not an “undue hardship” on the employer. To determine whether an accommodation would constitute an undue hardship, the court examines its cost, the employer’s resources, and how much it might disrupt or alter the course of business.
A reasonable accommodation can refer both to changes to facilities and changes to a schedule or job responsibilities. It might be:
- Assigning a person in a wheelchair certain office or desk space where he or she can appropriately maneuver;
- Allowing an employee to take a lunch break at a non-standard time to take medication;
- Allowing for a flexible schedule to permit an employee to seek treatment during the week;
- Allowing an employee with diabetes to eat at his or her desk throughout the day;
- Switching a marginal job function with another employee; or
- Providing an employee with visibility impairments a larger or magnified computer screen.
If an employee can perform the essential functions of a job with such an accommodation, he or she is qualified, and the employer may not discriminate against him or her by refusing such accommodations.
In this case, Attorney Hayber represented the plaintiff, John Curry. Mr. Curry was a driver for a wine and liquor distribution company. His job required him to lift up to 70 pounds. While working, Mr. Curry’s back was injured and he underwent surgery to treat it. His doctor said he could go back to work, but only for four hours per day, lifting only 15 pounds (soon raised to 25 pounds) and not sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time.
Mr. Curry placed his name on the bid list for a night shift position. He did not receive it despite his seniority, and was terminated. Attorney Hayber filed a lawsuit on Mr. Curry’s behalf alleging that Mr. Curry suffered from discrimination based on a disability because the employer failed to offer reasonable accommodations.
The trial court dismissed the case on the grounds that Mr. Curry could not perform the warehouse job. The case went to the Connecticut Supreme Court. The Court decided that the employer was obligated to provide reasonable accommodations to Mr. Curry. It was the first decision by an appellate court making such a finding, clarifying that employers must, under state law, seek to provide reasonable accommodations.
Finding the Best Hartford Employment Attorney for Reasonable Accommodation Cases
If your employer has failed to make a reasonable accommodation for your disability, an attorney from Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore can help you obtain relief. We are experienced in Connecticut employment law as it pertains to disabilities, and have helped set precedent for people with disabilities on the issue of reasonable accommodations. Fill out our online form today if you believe you have faced discrimination due to a disability.