Understanding Disability Discrimination Law in Connecticut
People with disabilities often face serious challenges navigating the day-to-day course of their lives. Yet instead of receiving support, they are too often undermined by discrimination. They are treated differently by employers, the businesses they patronize and society in general.
Such discrimination often results in psychological pain and financial losses. Workers with disabilities may lose their jobs, be passed over for promotion, be teased or harassed or be forced to work in conditions that exacerbate their disability.
In a fair society, people with disabilities should not be forced to endure such treatment. Fortunately, state and federal laws exist that protect the rights of people in such situations — and help them receive fair compensation for the losses they’ve suffered.
The Facts About Disability Discrimination in Connecticut
The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA) makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities. As written, CFEPA covers all public employers, private employers with at least three employees, labor organizations and employment agencies.
Employers cannot evaluate job applicants based on disabilities and cannot ask about the nature or severity of any real or perceived disabilities. Your present or past history of mental, intellectual or physical disability cannot be used against you in the context of employment, nor can your association with a family member who is disabled.
In addition to CFEPA, a range of federal laws protect the rights of Connecticut residents, including the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, employers are required to offer disabled workers “reasonable accommodations” to help them deal with their disability in the workplace.
It is against the law for employers to demote, fail to promote, fail to hire, harass or otherwise penalize someone for their disability. Such actions may constitute a “hostile work environment” under federal law, and may provide grounds for legal action.
Under the ADA, a disability is considered a physical or mental impairment that is “not transitory” and that “substantially limits” one or more major life activities (walking, talking, learning, seeing etc.). Minor, non-chronic conditions (such as a sprained ankle) are not covered under federal disability laws.
In addition to mandating equal treatment in workplaces, disability laws ensure that retail establishments, hotels, hospitals, restaurants and other public places must offer people with disabilities access to the same services offered to the general public.
What to Do if You’ve Been Victimized by Disability Discrimination
There are a number of avenues victims of discrimination can choose to pursue, including filing an internal complaint, making an official ADA request or contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a state-level agency. Often, however, receiving fair treatment in the workplace or another setting requires legal action. Employers may deny an ADA request unfairly or choose to ignore a complaint.
Disability discrimination cases are often challenging to pursue because of their complexity and the difficulty of proving that certain actions were taken with discriminatory intent. For this reason, it is important to seek out an experienced legal advocate in disability discrimination law.
Finding the Right Disability Discrimination Attorney
As outlined above, there are a complex web of federal and state laws protecting workers against disability discrimination. Depending on which legal protections are involved, victims of discrimination may have to file specific complaints with specific agencies, and do this within a certain timeframe.
Working with an attorney who is experienced in disability discrimination law is vitally important, as the right legal advocate can help you navigate the system — and receive any legal compensation to which you are entitled under the law.
Past Verdicts & Settlements
Employment Disability Discrimination
Our client received a confidential amount in settlement of an employment disability discrimination claim.Read More
Settled dog attack case where our clients’ dog was viciously attacked by another dog while walking on a public street and our clients suffered puncture and crush injuries to their hands while attempting to rescue their dog.Read More
Slip and Fall
Settled case where our client, while shopping in a supermarket, was struck by a loading cart piled high with boxes which was being pushed by a store employee knocking our client to the floor and causing her to suffer injuries.Read More
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