The federal Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with disabilities from discrimination in different areas of their lives, including employment, public accommodations, communications, and transportation. Disability discrimination can have both economic and emotional consequences for the disabled. If you have a disability and have suffered discrimination or harassment as a result, you should discuss your situation and potential ADA claims with Washington, D.C. disability attorney Matthew Famiglietti.Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits disability discrimination in various aspects of public life. These include public accommodations, public transportation, telecommunications, and public programs. Public Accommodations include businesses that are open to the public or provide services or goods to the public. They include private entities. Sometimes there is a dispute about whether certain settings count as public accommodations in which no disability discrimination should occur.
As a person with a disability, you’re guaranteed equal access to public transportation. Those that provide public transportation can’t refuse to provide you with transportation due to your disability. You can’t be required to change seats or use priority seating. When someone who is not disabled is sitting in priority seating, the transportation provider must ask that person to move.
Additionally, the ADA provides protections that require the state government, local government, businesses, and nonprofits that serve the public to communicate effectively, using aids or services, with those who have vision, hearing, speech or other communication disabilities. The exception is if provision of aids or services would result in an undue burden; an undue burden is a substantial expense or difficulty. When provision of a specific service or aid would produce an undue burden, the entity is supposed to provide a different effective service of aid that wouldn’t cause an undue burden. To determine what service or aids should be used to communicate effectively, the entity needs to look at the length, nature, context and complexity of the communication, along with what the person usually uses to communicate. For instance, deaf people may use sign language, and a medical office may need to have an interpreter to take his or her medical history or to talk about treatment options for a diagnosis. Find out more about ADA protections by speaking with a disability lawyer based in Washington, D.C.
Under the ADA, you can file a complaint alleging disability discrimination against a state or local government or public accommodation. Different agencies are responsible for handling complaints. For instance, if you have ADA claims regarding a public accommodation, you need to file your complaint with the Department of Justice. If you encounter a public transit agency that is inaccessible or fails to address your access needs, you could file an internal grievance or complaint with the agency or you could file a complaint within 180 days to the Office of Civil Rights of the Federal Transit Agency.ADA Claims in the Workplace
In order to sue for damages for workplace discrimination under the ADA, you must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially restricts a major life activity and also be qualified for the job. The ADA applies to those who work for employers who have at least 15 employees.
Workplace disability discrimination happens when a covered employer treats a job applicant or employee less favorably because he or she has a disability. Discrimination can involve any adverse employment decision including termination, failure to hire, demotion, failure to promote, or disparate pay. It can also include harassment. Many disabled workers find protection from workplace discrimination or harassment by bringing an ADA claim. It’s wise to retain a disability attorney in the Washington, D.C. area to represent you in such matters.
You can also bring a disability discrimination lawsuit if you’re discriminated against or harassed because you have a history of disability or because you’re believed to have a mental or physical impairment that is expected to last at least 6 months, even if you don’t have the impairment you’re believed to have. Additionally, it may be appropriate to pursue an ADA claim if you have a relationship with a person who has a disability even though you don’t have a disability yourself.Reasonable Accommodations
The ADA requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to job applicants and employees, unless to do so would present an undue hardship for the employer. Reasonable accommodations are changes to the workplace that would allow a worker to do his or her job. They can include modification of workplace and policies, shift changes, provision of screen reading software for the blind or those with visual disabilities, equipment, accessible desks, or rest breaks. Your employer should not retaliate against you for requesting a reasonable accommodation.EEOC Enforcement
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces ADA workplace claims. Filing a charge with the EEOC is a prerequisite to filing an ADA lawsuit in court. When the EEOC decides there’s reasonable cause to believe a charge is true, it will try to conciliate. In some cases, when settlement is unsuccessful, charges are pursued. However, the EEOC may simply issue you a notice of right to sue.Consult with an Attorney in Washington, D.C.
If you are concerned about bringing an ADA claim, you should discuss your situation with Washington, D.C. disability lawyer Matthew T. Famiglietti. Mr. Famiglietti is committed to serving disabled clients in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. He also represents federal employees. Call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880 or complete our online form.