The first thing to understand in being an advocate for employees with disabilities is how broad disability is under the law. It can be and includes any condition, even those that are temporary, that either involve mental health issues, physical impairments, or even sometimes short-term issues that can disable an employee for a period of time from doing their job. What we look at is first, what is the disability and what’s the nature of the disability at issue. Secondly, employees with disabilities are entitled to be accommodated at work, and a lot of times they’ll come to us saying, “I have this impairment. I have something that I need help with at work, and my employer’s not doing that. They’re resisting it.” That’s what we help them with, because there’s a legal obligation for an employer to accommodate any individual with a disability, especially when that accommodation can help them do the job. Sometimes the issue is even more broad than accommodation. The individual with the disability feels they’re being penalized, they are not being given equal opportunity to do their job effectively and advance because of the disability, or because of negative perceptions about that disability. When that happens, we don’t hesitate to advance that claim to the employer and potentially into litigation if we have to.
About Larry Schaefer
Lawrence P. Schaefer has earned the respect of judges and other lawyers for his thorough and aggressive client advocacy in negotiation and litigation. He focuses exclusively on representing people who have been subject to employment discrimination at work. Larry serves as the firm’s President and head of litigation. Learn more >
About Toni Halleen
Toni has practiced employment law since graduating from law school in 1988. The field appeals to her because in our society, our jobs can be core to our identity and well-being. Even in her early years in the 70s and 80s, Toni remembers being drawn to ideals of justice, fairness, and social equality in attending anti-discrimination marches, participating in school activism, and admiring the political satire of the Smothers Brothers (and others). Learn more >