If you have been discriminated against because of a disability, you may be able to pursue a disability discrimination lawsuit against your employer. With the help of a disability discrimination lawyer, you will be able to recover damages from your employer for their violation of federal and state laws. If you have a condition that is legally considered a disability, or if your employer perceives it as a disability, you are entitled to be treated fairly and your employer should provide reasonable accommodations that you may request. You may be able to recover a variety of damages from that employer if you can prove that they violated the ADA and/or other laws that protect disabled workers.
Damages You May Be Entitled To
Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to recover a variety of damages from your employer for their violations of the laws and for their discriminatory acts toward you. Your disability discrimination lawyer will help you gather supporting evidence and documentation and will be able to determine your damages and calculate a fair settlement for your claim against your employer.
You may be entitled to back pay – which is pay from the time you were terminated until the time that your claim is won. You may also be entitled to front pay, which is future wages that you would have earned from your employer for a specified timeframe. You can also ask for lost benefits, which includes the value of your lost job benefits, such as health care coverage, dental insurance, 401k and pension plans, stock options, and profit sharing.
You can also ask for damages for emotional distress. You will need to prove that the job loss and discrimination caused you to suffer mental and emotional injuries. You may need to provide a confirmation from a mental health professional who can confirm how you were affected by the treatment. Some courts will award punitive damages, which are damages that are designed to punish the defendant or to make an example of him or her, so they don’t behave in this manner again.
Your lawyer will also ask for your employer to cover the legal expenses, including your attorney’s fees. When this happens, your lawyer will not cut into your recovery. Most disability discrimination lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they will get a percentage of your settlement. In this situation, you keep the full award and your employer pays them.
How To Calculate Your Damages
Calculating your damages when you file a disability discrimination lawsuit can be challenging. Your disability discrimination lawyer will gather up the supporting evidence and calculate your losses. Counting your back pay is easier. Basically, your regular salary from the time you were fired until the time your claim is settled. To calculate lost benefits, the attorney will review your full benefits package and how much you lost during that timeframe that you didn’t have those benefits.
For future wages, your attorney will consider a set time in the future – whether it is six months or two years depending on the situation – and calculate your regular payrate for that time period and add that figure into the total settlement request. If you suffered mental anguish or emotional upset, any medical bills for mental health care, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist, will be added up – past medical care and future medical care – plus pain and suffering as you were affected by the event.
Your lawyer will also add in their legal fees. Punitive damages can vary from one state to another, and those states who award those damages may limit how much can be awarded in a settlement. Your disability discrimination attorney will be able to review your claim and the evidence to determine how much your settlement should be. Your lawyer will know how much to ask for in damages on your behalf.
How to Prove Disability Discrimination
You’ll need evidence to show your employer knew (or thought) you had a disability and you experienced discrimination or harassment because of this. The more evidence you can provide, the higher the chance of proving your disability discrimination. The sorts of evidence could include emails, texts, witness statements, breach in confidentiality recordings and performance reviews.
Emails and texts
This could include emails and texts complaining about having to make accommodations for your disability like providing a ramp to enhance your movement from place to place in a wheelchair.
These could include eye witness accounts of comments made to other employees about your disability or even statements that the eye witnesses heard made to you directly.
Proof of breach in confidentiality
For example, a recording of a conversation with another employee about the need for having to accommodate an employee due to a disability would be a privacy violation. The disability and any accommodation given to the employee due to the disability is confidential, and should not be openly discussed openly between by the employer with other employees.
Copies of any performance reviews showing how well the job is being done might contradict the reason you were wrongfully terminated.
The more evidence of wrongful termination due to your disability you are able to provide, the stronger your case will be. You should focus on eye witnesses as they provide key evidence but may forget important details if you don’t contact them quickly.
Speak With An Employment Law Attorney
If you believe that you were discriminated against because of a disability, you should speak with an employment law attorney who handles disability discrimination cases in your state. With the help of a lawyer, you are much more likely to have a successful claim. Employment law attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that you will not have to pay anything upfront. Instead, your lawyer will not be paid until you win your claim. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today, so an attorney in your area can review your claim and determine the best way to proceed.