How to File a Disability Discrimination Lawsuit in Ohio?
A Columbus Employee Rights Attorney Discusses How to File a Disability Discrimination Lawsuit in Ohio
U.S. government data shows that 1 in 4 American adults will experience a disabling condition at some point in their lives. Additionally, just slightly more than 19 percent of individuals with significant disabilities hold jobs.
In light of these statistics, no one can deny that employers discriminating against people with disabilities is a serious problem. Two powerful laws prohibit the practice, but holding employers accountable for violating workers’ rights under the American with Disability Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act can be difficult.
Filing a disability discrimination lawsuit is often necessary, but that is a final step. Here, we outline the process of recognizing and attempting to resolve unfair and unjust treatment by employers. You can learn more and discuss how one of our disability discrimination attorneys can formally advise and represent you by reaching out to The Friedmann Firm online or calling us at (614) 610-9755.
Know When You Have Grounds for a Possible Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
A factsheet published by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains that a job applicant or employee has protections under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act if they can demonstrate one of the following things:
- They have a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity such as walking, talking, seeing, hearing, learning, or controlling a major bodily function.
- They have a history of suffering from a disabling condition.
- They are being treated by an employer as if they have a permanent and significant physical or mental impairment but they actually do not.
Employers cannot use a worker’s disability status as the principal reason for making a decision regarding that individual’s hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotion, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and/or conditions of employment. Additionally, managers and supervisors cannot allow an employee to suffer harassment due their actual or perceived disability. Insults and abuse become legally actionable when the mistreatment occurs so frequently and with such severity that it creates a hostile work environment.
The ADA also explicitly protects workers who are not themselves disabled but do care for a family member with a disability. One of the things this means is that employers cannot refuse to hire or extend insurance benefits to someone because they worry about the employee needing to take leave or use health coverage.
Approach Your Employer First
Rules put in place to implement the ADA and Rehabilitation Act require employers to spell out processes for receiving, investigating, and attempting to resolve complaints of disability discrimination. Employers must also consider requests to make reasonable accommodations for workers who have disabilities in good faith and must engage in what is called the “interactive process” when an employee requests a reasonable accommodation. This means that an employer must actually have a discussion about whether it can grant a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability that requests an accommodation.
Federal regulators who enforce the laws against disability discrimination will want to see proof that a worker went through their employer’s complaint and resolution processes before attempting to file a lawsuit. If an employer does not know about a disability, there will usually be no duty to accommodate and it is very difficult to prove discrimination occurred if the employer does not know that the employee suffers from a disability. An employee has an undeniable right to consult with and be represented by an employee rights lawyer while dealing directly with their employer.
Importantly, the ADA and Rehabilitation Act also make it illegal for managers and supervisors to retaliate against an employee who complains about discrimination or requests an accommodation for a disability. Prohibited acts of workplace retaliation include, but are not limited to, reassignment to low-status tasks, refusal of promotions, denial of benefits, verbal abuse, and firing. Lawsuits for disability discrimination often include allegations of retaliation.
Contact the EEOC if the Discrimination Persists
The EEOC handles formal complaints filed under the ADA. An employee can file a Charge of Discrimination if disability discrimination occurs at work. The office takes complaints by mail or online. You must file a Charge of Discrimination within 300 days of the alleged unlawful employment action if you choose to file with the EEOC.
A formal complaint/Charge of Discrimination should include complete contact information for the employee and employer, the names of individuals who allowed or engaged in discriminatory behavior, brief descriptions of each act of disability discrimination, and copies of relevant documents such s emails and performance reviews. An employee rights attorney can assist with preparing your EEOC Charge.
After the EEOC accepts a Charge of Discrimination, it can take one of the following actions:
- Issue a letter explaining why it cannot look into the case and issue a Right to Sue;
- Request additional information;
- Refer your case for mediation, which a voluntary process that does not eliminate the potential for a lawsuit if no mutually acceptable resolution can be reached;
- Open an investigation;
- File a lawsuit on behalf of the employee.
If the EEOC issues a Right to Sue, you must file suit within 90 days of the date on the Right to Sue, not 90 days from the date you receive the Right to Sue.
An employment attorney can advise as to all steps in this process.
Rachel was absolutely amazing. As an attorney she really took the time to really listen to my concerns. She was honest and kept me informed every step of the way. The outcome was favorable on my behalf and I appreciate her efforts to achieve a good outcome. I would highly recommend her and the Friedmann firm to represent me if ever needed in future.
Working with Rachel Sabo from Friedmann Firm was absolutely amazing! She upholds integrity, honesty and without a doubt fights for what is right! Rachel was extremely transparent and real! Please don’t let wrong be right, Rachel will strive to advocate and put her whole heart in obtaining resolve in your situation! What an absolute blessing, she won my case in less than 1 week💪
My experience with the Friedmann Firm is an absolute 5 stars. From my very first call with Karen, to all of my communication with Rachel, everything exceeded all of my expectations. Rachel and Karen were so caring and understanding in a very sensitive situation. They responded immediately to any questions or concerns I had. I would HIGHLY recommend the Friedmann Firm. They are caring, professional, understanding, and I would trust them with any issue I have in the future.
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm were fantastic to work with. The thought of needing an employment lawyer was scary for me, it was confusing and complex. But Rachel listened, asked questions and took time to really understand me and my priorities. I felt calm, supported and excited for the first time in weeks after talking to her!! We worked together to review everything, set expectations and meet my priorities! Thanks Rachel and team for all your work!!!
Rachel Friedmann of the Friedman Firm was my attorney for a very recent legal matter. I would highly recommend Rachel based on her legal knowledge, her honest appraisal of the matter and expected outcomes, her open communication and timely responses to my questions and the matter itself, and her steadfastness in dealing with the opposing counsel until a final agreement was reached.
Rachel and her staff went over and above the call of duty to help me achieve fiscal resolution to my legal issue. She wasn’t always available to talk but was always responsive via text and email when in court out of the office and even on vacation. I feel she earned her percentage cut.
Couldn’t be happier with the representation I received from Jamie Bailey on my civil litigation case. She worked tirelessly to resolve the case and in the end negotiated a fair settlement on my behalf. I would highly recommend her to anyone! Thanks for everything Friedman law firm.
Friedman Firm was a great help in a difficult time in my life. They went above and beyond to get me back on track. Rachel was so good to work with and is extremely knowledgeable about the law and employment rights. Can't thank them enough for all there hard work. Highly recommend them to anyone.
The Friedmann Firm (specifically Pete Friedmann) represented me through what seemed like a never ending employment discrimination suit. The suit was filed just before Covid shut everything down in 2020. Add to that a former employer who refused to admit fault. In spite of all of that, Pete stood resolute in his representation of me and working for the best outcome for me. We ended up settling prior to trial and I was more than satisfied with the results. Pete was always available to answer questions and reassure me throughout this process. I highly recommend The Friedmann Firm!
Pete Friedmann and his firm are fantastic. He represented me for more than a year going through a suit with a previous employer. He walked me through every step of the process and was always quick to respond to any questions I had. My settlement came in and we parted ways with both sides being pleased with the outcome. I highly recommend the Friedmann firm and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in the future if the need arose. Thank you, Pete!
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm have been amazing to work with. Rachel was very helpful, listened to our concerns and took our case. She communicated well throughout and really worked for us. We were very well represented!
I loved working with The Friedmann Firm. Rachel and Jamie are exceptional lawyers and were diligent in reviewing my case and letting me know of my options. Jamie was extremely thorough and handled even the smallest details of my case with ease. The entire process was seamless and they were always quick to respond to emails and calls. I would definitely recommend working with The Friedmann Firm.
I would recommend Rachel Sabo Friedmann and the Friedmann firm for severance negotiations. Rachel was always available and responsive and made an effort to ensure I was updated on every step of the process. Her diligent efforts produced a prompt resolution and we are very happy with the results!