Charleston, WV Disability Discrimination Attorney
Disability discrimination in West Virginia occurs when a disabled person is subject to unequal treatment on the basis of that person’s disability. In all 50 states, it is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to discriminate a disable person in regards to employment as well as public accommodations (which includes housing). Furthering these federal laws is the West Virginia Human Rights Act, which states that citizens with disabilities in West Virginia deserve equal and fair opportunity. If you or someone you know has been denied an opportunity based on his/her disability, it is crucial to contact a Charleston, WV disability discrimination attorney immediately.
At the Love Law Firm, we are highly passionate about upholding the rights of the disabled in West Virginia, where every success in a disability discrimination case benefits all of the disabled citizens in the state. With a deep understanding of West Virginia disability laws as well as procedures for filing claims at the West Virginia Human Rights Act main office right here in Charleston, Attorney Charles M. Love has the resources and litigation capabilities to ensure that your rights are protected.
As any disabled person or a relative or loved one to a disabled person knows, a disability is neither straight-forward nor is it defined by a single impairment. Nevertheless, according to the West Virginia Human Rights Act, the term “disability” refers to “a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities.” Major life activities is defined as an inability to care for one’s self, perform manual tasks, walk, see, hear, speak, breathe, learn, and work. Likewise, a person is defined as having a disability if there is a record of such impairment or being regarded as having such an impairment.
Although it is not always true, some people with a disability receive benefits from their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is especially true if that person is physically or mentally unable to work. If a qualified person is able to work, however, it is unlawful in the state of West Virginia for employers to discriminate in any of the following areas:
- Pay or other forms of compensation
- Recruitment or processing applications
- Job assignments
- Hiring, promotions, demotions, and firings
- Leaves of absence or sick leave
- Selection of financial support or training
- Fringe benefits
- Any other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment
These areas, among several others, also apply to those with a history of disability or if an applicant or employee is perceived to have a physical or mental impairment that is minor and not transitory (lasting less than six months). Therefore, if an employee has cancer that is in remission, an employer cannot discriminate against him/her based on monetary fears that the cancer could return.
Understanding Reasonable Accommodation
In addition to non-discriminatory practices, including discrimination when it comes to employment or harassment to employees or applicants, federal and West Virginia laws declare that employers must provide reasonable accommodation, unless doing so would otherwise cause undue hardship.
Reasonable accommodation refers to changes in the work environment to help people with disabilities apply for a job, perform the duties required for a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. This could include making the workplace accessible for wheelchairs or having a reader or interpreter for someone who is blind or hearing impaired. Also, because of the federal Family and Medical and Leave Act (FMLA), these accommodations also apply to someone tasked with caring for a disabled family member.
Undue hardship, on the other hand, means that the accommodation would be too difficult or expensive to provide, according to the company’s size, financial resources, and the size of the business. For example, letting an employee with multiple sclerosis take needed rests doesn’t, in many occupations, cause undue hardship to the employer.
Because undue hardship and reasonable accommodation are, in some cases, not objective terms, it is essential to utilize a disability discrimination attorney at the Love Law Firm to effectively prove these parameters. Attorney Charles M. Love will diligently investigate company resources and aggressive represent your right for accommodations.
How a Charleston, WV Disability Discrimination Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you know has been discriminated against because of a disability, contact the Love Law Firm today to directly file a lawsuit file or a discrimination claim with the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, located in Charleston at 1321 Plaza East. Filing must be done within one year of the last instance of discrimination. With the help of Charleston’s Love Law Firm, we can help ensure a strong and functional claim against your employer, and we are fully prepared to take your case to West Virginia courts, where there is no limit or cap on punitive damages against a discriminatory employer.
You can reach us by phone at (304) 344-5683, by email, or by filling out our online form.
Visit our Charleston office at 405 Capitol Street, #309, or feel free to give us a call for a free consultation. If you’ve been discriminated against, don’t hesitate and contact the Love Law Firm in Charleston today!