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Seeking justice for employees who have been sexually harassed, discriminated against, wrongfully terminated, denied accommodation for disability or injuries, or retaliated against throughout the state of Florida.
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Disability and Handicap Discrimination

Enforcing Protections for Real and Perceived Disability

Both federal law and Florida law protect employees with disabilities or handicaps from discrimination in the workplace. These protections also extend to workers who are not disabled, but who are perceived to have a disability, and as a result are treated as though they do. This includes discrimination in job application procedures, hiring, firing, training, promotions and other conditions of employment. These laws also protect disabled individuals from harassment or discrimination in the workplace. If you need advice about your workplace rights and options for compensation, contact the Law Office of William M. Julien, P.A., in Boynton Beach.

You Have a Right to Reasonable Accommodations

Employers are responsible for making reasonable accommodations for workers with genuine disabilities who are otherwise capable of performing the required work. The reasonable accommodations are meant to be worked out between the employer and the employee, and each side is under an obligation to work in good faith toward a mutually acceptable solution. These accommodations might involve physical access to a desk or workstation, adapted computer equipment, reassignment of work schedules, devices to correct deficiencies in hearing or vision, or allowances of time for medical treatment according to a schedule.

There are some disabilities that are fairly obvious and do not take much to notice. Others are less obvious, but also qualify for protection under federal and state laws. Under the ADA, a disabled person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits a major life activity; a person who has a record of such impairment; or a person who is regarded as having impairment – whether or not that regard is actually true.

Disability Protections Have Evolved

The Americans with Disabilities Act, or “ADA,” was passed nearly 20 years ago to protect the rights of employees with disabilities or handicaps. It prohibits discrimination based on disability or perceived disability and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to allow workers with disabilities to do their jobs.

Over time, courts have interpreted the law in ways that made it unclear to most employees what protections were available to them under the ADA. To remedy this situation, Congress recently passed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, or “ADAAA.”

If you are dealing with disability discrimination, the ADAAA should make it easier to file a successful claim. You do have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Law Office of William M. Julien, P.A., can help.

Attorney William M. Julien has more than 20 years of experience protecting people’s rights in the workplace. He is committed to working with you to fight disability and handicap discrimination, and he has a long track record of success.

Contact us for a free initial consultation at our Boynton Beach, Florida, law office.

The ADA’s Definition of Disability is Changing

In order to qualify for disability under the ADA, you must prove that you have a disability that substantially limits a major life activity. In writing the ADAAA, Congress decided that the courts’ interpretation of the original ADA had been too strict. Many people with legitimate disabilities failed to qualify for protection. Congress has asked the EEOC to propose a definition that is closer to the lawmakers’ original intent.

  • More “major life activities” are now covered by the ADA. Previously, courts had interpreted what was to be considered a major life activity under the Americans With Disabilities Act rather strictly. The ADAAA now makes it clear that bodily functions – such as normal cell growth, bladder and bowel control, immune system function, respiration, reproductive function and others – are to be considered major life activities. If you have been told that your disability is not protected under the ADA, you should check again.
  • You no longer have to prove your employer understood your disability. Under the old rules, an employee who complained about disability discrimination had to demonstrate that his or her employer believed that the particular disability substantially limited a major life activity. This was very difficult. With the ADAAA, the employee only needs to prove that the employer thought he or she had a disability and discriminated against him or her because of it.

Retaliation for a Workers’ Comp Claim is Illegal

An injured employee with a workers’ comp claim may also be entitled to the protections under disability laws. Under the disability laws, an employer may not retaliate against an employee who seeks disability benefits or additional recovery time.

When this procedure breaks down, or when an employer’s unwillingness to accommodate a disability or handicap leads to problems for the employee, South Florida workplace rights attorney William Julien litigates disability discrimination claims on behalf of people all over the state, especially in the area along the Palm Beach-Fort Lauderdale-Miami coast.

Was Your Termination Actually Discrimination?

Most of our clients have been fired for what are stated to be performance-related reasons, but that very often turn out to be prohibited discrimination on the basis of a disability or a handicap. Our skill with the investigation and presentation of detailed evidence that both establishes liability against the employer and proves the amount of your damages can help you recover from both the economic loss and the humiliation of discriminatory practices in the workplace.

Discrimination for Perceived Disabilities

Perceived disability discrimination happens when an employer treats an employee unfairly due to the belief that an employee is disabled, even when he or she is not actually disabled.

Unfortunately, since many clients are fired for what are stated to be performance-related reasons, often these reasons turn out to be discrimination on the basis of a disability or perceived disability. Our skill with investigating and presenting detailed evidence that both establishes liability against the employer and proves the amount of your damages, can help you recover from both the economic loss and the humiliation of discriminatory practices in the workplace.

You No Longer Have to Prove That Your Employer Understood Your Disability

The Americans With Disabilities Act, or “ADA,” was passed over 20 years ago to protect the rights of employees with disabilities or handicaps. It prohibits discrimination based on disability or perceived disability and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to allow workers with disabilities to do their jobs.

In order to qualify for disability under the ADA, you must prove that you have a disability that substantially limits a major life activity. In writing the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), Congress decided that the courts’ interpretation of the original ADA had been too strict. Many people with legitimate disabilities failed to qualify for protection.

Under the old rules, an employee who complained about disability discrimination had to demonstrate that his or her employer believed that the particular disability substantially limited a major life activity. This was very difficult.

With the ADAAA, the employee only needs to prove that the employer thought he or she had a disability and discriminated against him or her because of it.

Contact a Boynton Beach Employment Law and Disability Lawyer

We also handle workplace rights cases involving pregnancy leave, leave for personal or family illness, or retaliation for filing workers’ compensation claims. We discover many of these situations while advising clients whose applications for unemployment benefits are opposed by the employer. For a free consultation about your rights in a case involving discrimination against the handicapped or disabled, contact the Law Office of William M. Julien, P.A., in Boynton Beach online, or reach us by phone at 561-560-7388 or toll-free at 866-569-7398.