Disability Law

Mayor De Blasio recently signed legislation amending NYC’s paid safe and sick leave law. The new changes took effect on September 30, 2020 and bring NYC’s law more into line with NYS’s paid sick leave law. Key Changes to Be Aware of The key changes in the law that employees in NYC should know about are the following: Employees begin accruing leave immediately upon starting a job and can use the leave as soon as it is accrued; the previous requirement that an employee work for 80 hours to be eligible for safe/sick leave has been removed. Employers with…
It is, of course, illegal to discriminate against an employee because they have a disability—to fire someone because the employer learns they have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, for example.  But what about when the disability causes conduct that might otherwise be a legitimate basis for an action like firing? What if, for example, that schizophrenia… Continue reading Does the ADA Require More Flexible Employee “Misconduct” Rules? →
The EEOC recently posted updated guidance about employers’ obligations related to COVID, What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.  Like the EEOC, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people trying to understand how to navigate work in these times.  Here are some common questions… Continue reading COVID and Workplace Rights: 4 Common Questions →
The recent failure of the criminal justice system to hold anyone accountable for the death of Breonna Taylor is a devastating reminder of that system’s failures.  As police misconduct attorney and author Andrea Ritchie told the New York Times, “The system that killed Breonna Taylor is not set up to provide justice or reparations for… Continue reading Rethinking Demands for Law Enforcement Training in ADA Lawsuits →
The coronavirus pandemic has raised many issues for employers and older employees.  Many employees, over the age of 40, are faced with questions and concerns about the potentially discriminatory decisions being made by their employers regarding layoffs, terminations and returning to the workplace. A significant increase in age discrimination lawsuits is expected due to the pandemic. These claims will be based on the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination against workers age 40 and older, and state and local laws which protect older workers. The number of lawsuits is anticipated to increase in the coming months…
According to the CDC, we must fight stigma during this COVID pandemic—against people who have, or have recovered from COVID, and against ethnic groups wrongly blamed for or seen as carriers of the virus. Three kinds of law can help.…
Community is a form of medicine, writes Rachel Setzer.  She found healing in reconnecting with her Cherokee Ancestors’ traditions: You are here, you are part of your community, you should be counted and cared for, and society has to be adjusted to help you get your needs met. Accommodations for your disabilities are your birthright… Continue reading Community Integration →
In a June 18, 2020 unanimous decision in the case of Hosking v. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr, 2020 NY Slip Op 03484, written by Justice Acosta, the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed a decision issued by Bronx County Judge Lizbeth Gonzålez which granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint of Jeanette Martinez.  At issue on appeal was whether Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the defendant employer, properly engaged in a good faith dialogue with Martinez, a disabled employee, to ascertain the possibility of a reasonable accommodation.  Martinez was hired to work as a General Services Representative (GSR), performing…
A little-known law requires many insurance plans to give equal treatment to mental health. Mental health and addiction treatment must be covered and paid comparably to physical conditions.…
As non-essential businesses reopen, employers are grappling with issues of when and how to safely return employees to the workplace.  The use of antibody testing of employees has been posited as a potential screening tool to assist employers in their decision making, by identifying those employees who had COVID-19 and thus may have developed some measure of immunity. On June 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 related guidance to make clear that, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer may not require antibody testing before permitting an employee to re-enter the workplace. Employers…
The fight for accessible sidewalks is becoming a successful movement. This struggle has a long history in the disability community. Longer still, and perhaps less well known to disability rights lawyers, is the history of sidewalk barriers in racial injustice.…