At Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, our attorneys have an impressive record of obtaining substantial recoveries for victims of disability discrimination. Our disability discrimination attorneys have comprehensive knowledge of federal and Illinois state law, as well as the skills needed to defend the rights of clients who are tired of being denigrated or dismissed for a fact about themselves that cannot be changed.
Although heartless and illegal, disability discrimination is still evident in a great many places of business. Some enlightened companies understand the very real benefits of hiring workers who are determined and capable in spite of (or perhaps because of) their disabilities. Too many business owners, however, are afraid that disabled staff members will decrease productivity and hurt their bottom line.
Employers Who Participate in Disability Discrimination Against Employees Are Foolish
If you have experienced disability discrimination at your workplace and are feeling disheartened, it may help you to know that several studies have shown that employers who don’t hire disabled employees are missing a good bet.
In the course of fighting for the rights of disabled employees, the disability discrimination attorneys at Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil have learned that disabled employees almost always compare favorably to their peers since they:
- Stay on the job longer
- Have less absenteeism
- Perform well on the job
- Have proven well worth the minimal costs of accommodating their needs
- Rate high as dedicated, trustworthy employees who boost morale
- Score points for increasing their company’s standing in the community as well as its productivity level
When you contact us for help with your disability discrimination case, you can depend of us to treat you with the respect you deserve and fight to protect your rights.
Our goal is to help you to restart your career after being dehumanized at the workplace. We want to recover compensation to cover your lost wages, training, bonuses, etc., and to demonstrate your worth and dignity under the law.
In order to fight for your rights, we will listen carefully to the details of your case, answer all of your questions, and gather incriminating evidence that will persuade the court of your employer’s misconduct. We will use our legal and tactical knowledge to construct a strategic plan to be used successfully in litigation, but that may be convincing enough to obtain an appropriate settlement through negotiations alone.
Geneva Law Is On Your Side
The Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) and the American Disability Act (ADA) state that disability discrimination in employment is illegal and that defendants can be held accountable if they break the law. Although the ADA only applies to companies with 15 or more employees, the IHRA has been amended recently to apply to any business with at least one employee.
How Disabilities Are Defined
During the past several decades, the definition of the word “disabilities” has come to cover a broader and broader range of physical, cognitive, and psychiatric conditions. The ADA recognizes the following as physical impairments:
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Speech, hearing, and orthopedic impairments
- Visual impairment
- Heart disease
- Learning disabilities
- Drug addiction
Whether you were born with a congenital defect or your disability was caused by disease or accident, you have every right to earn a living without being discriminated against. You also have the right to file a complaint about discrimination without suffering retaliation.
What is the difference between disability discrimination and harassment?
Harassment is a subcategory of discrimination consisting of jokes, memos, emails, posted cartoons, or social media attacks that mock or disparage your disability. Such actions should always be reported to your employer or your human resources department. If the harassment continues or you face retaliation, it is time to call our office.
Disability discrimination involves being treated differently from other employees because of an actual or perceived disability by being:
- Denied “reasonable accommodations” for your disability (e.g. a different computer keyboard, a more supportive chair)
- Denied training that might lead to promotion
- Denied advanced job assignments you have proven you can handle
- Paid less than others for the same amount of work
- Denied travel opportunities
- Denied deserved promotions, raises, or bonuses
- Unfairly targeted for disciplinary action
- Denied the opportunity to interact with clients
- Wrongfully terminated
Which accommodations are considered “reasonable”?
Reasonable accommodations are typically considered to be changes to the work environment that are simple rather than complex, inexpensive rather than costly. Usually, these accommodations involve little trouble, but can make it possible for the disabled employee to work in comfort and as efficiently as possible.
Examples of reasonable accommodations may include providing the disabled person with a reserved parking space, adjusting his/her job tasks or work schedule, or allowing a service animal to remain in the office.
Damages We Will Fight to Obtain for You
No two cases are identical, but possible compensation may include the following:
- Reinstatement if you have been wrongfully terminated
- Proper accommodations once you have been reinstated
- Back and/or front pay
- Lost benefits, such as a pension, sick days, vacation days
- Compensation for emotional distress
If your employer was made aware of the problem and did nothing to remedy the situation, was himself or herself the offender, or retaliated for your complaint, the court may also award you punitive damages over and above the previously mentioned damages. Contact our disability discrimination attorneys for excellent, empathic representation.