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How to File a Disability Discrimination Complaint?

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South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Assist Clients with Disability Discrimination Complaints

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is against the law to discriminate against another person based on a disability. Unfortunately, this occurs far too often in the workplace. Employees with disabilities continue to experience a range of discriminatory behavior from employers, including harassment, denied promotions and salary increases, refusing to allow time off for medical needs, and failing to make the necessary accommodations for an employee with a disability. If you have been discriminated against by your employer for a disability, whether it is a physical or mental impairment, you may want to consider filing a disability discrimination complaint against your employer. An experienced discrimination lawyer can assist you with this process, recommend the best legal course of action, and ensure that your legal rights are protected at all times.

What Are Examples of Disability Discrimination?

Federal law states that a person with a disability is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more of their major life activities, including walking, hearing, or seeing, has a history of impairment, or is believed to have a physical or mental impairment. If you have a disability, your employer is legally prohibited from treating you differently or less favorably because of your disability. The following are examples of employment discrimination that are prohibited by the ADA:


  • You were not hired or promoted because of your disability.
  • You were terminated from your position because of your disability.
  • You were harassed or treated unfairly as a result of your disability.
  • Your employer “regarded” you as having a disability.
  • You did not receive the necessary job training due to your disability.
  • You were not paid a fair and reasonable salary.

 What Accommodations Is My Employer Expected to Make?

 Your employer is also legally required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees or job applicants who have a disability. The only exception to this rule is if the accommodations would cause significant hardship on the business. The courts will consider whether your employer could have made the necessary accommodations by looking at the company’s size, the needs of the business, and your employer’s financial resources. In most cases, your employer must provide the following reasonable accommodations to ensure that you are able to apply for or carry out the responsibilities for the job you were hired to do:


  • Install ramps or widen doorways to make the workplace wheelchair accessible.
  • Review and adjust examinations and training materials.
  • Purchase new equipment or modify existing equipment.
  • Modify work schedules.
  • Provide interpreters or readers if you have a sight or hearing disability.

What Are the Steps Involved in Filing a Disability Discrimination Complaint?

If you have been discriminated against in the workplace and you wish to file a complaint against your employer, you will need to file a complaint of discrimination, either with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the anti-discrimination agency in New Jersey. If filing with the EEOC, you must file a charge before you can file a discrimination lawsuit. There are a number of options for filing a discrimination charge, including the following:


  • You can submit an inquiry, schedule an appointment, and file a charge using the EEOC public portal. Once you have been interviewed, you can complete the Charge of Discrimination. The EEOC will determine whether it is the appropriate federal agency to handle your complaint once you have answered a series of questions on the agency’s public portal.
  • In person. You can also schedule an in-person appointment through the EEOC Public Portal. This gives you the opportunity to discuss the nature of your concerns and determine whether filing a discrimination charge is the best course of action. It is highly recommended that you bring any documentation you have to the meeting, including performance reviews, a termination letter, and contact information for people who may have observed the discriminatory behavior and can provide information that will support your claim. If you need special assistance, including a sign language or foreign language interpreter, you can bring them to the meeting.
  • By mail. You also have the option of filing charges by mail. The following information must be included in the letter:
    • Your name, address, email, and telephone number
    • The name, address, email, and telephone number of the employer you are filing charges against
    • The number of employees the company employs, if you have that information
    • A brief description of the discriminatory actions against you
    • When the discrimination occurred
    • Why you believe you were discriminated against
    • Your signature
  • By phone. The EEOC does not take charges over the phone, but you can start the process by calling them to discuss your situation with an EEOC representative who will ask you some basic questions to determine whether you have a case and how to go about filing charges.

It is important to keep in mind that there are strict time limits for filing a disability discrimination charge. You must file your complaint within 180 days with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. The deadline is 300 days if you file a complaint with the EEOC.

What Happens After My Complaint Has Been Filed?

After you have filed a disability discrimination complaint, the EEOC may refer the complaint to the ADA Mediation Program, which is part of ADA compliance, and does not involve the courts. In most cases, mediation involves one or more meetings between you, the person or organization named in your complaint, and an impartial mediator who will help you reach an agreement. This is often a fair and efficient way to resolve an ADA complaint. The EEOC may also investigate your complaint, which could either lead to a settlement or a lawsuit. If the EEOC investigates your complaint, an investigator will collect documents and interview witnesses.

Once the investigation is complete, you and your employer will be notified about the result. If the EEOC determines that discrimination occurred, they will try to reach a settlement with your employer. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, your case will be referred to someone in the EEOC’s legal department. After reviewing your case, they will determine whether the agency should pursue legal action.

South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Assist Clients with Disability Discrimination Complaints

If you have been discriminated against in the workplace because of a disability, it is highly recommended that you contact the South Jersey employment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. at your earliest convenience. Our highly skilled legal team has a proven track record of negotiating successful outcomes for clients who have faced discrimination in the workplace due to a disability. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. We have offices in Pennsauken, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, and we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.

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