Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Disability discrimination stands out from other types of discrimination in that people frequently patronize and pity people with disabilities and will discriminate in ways that appear to be meant as aid. There are times when the discrimination is rooted in mistaken beliefs about the limitations of a disability, or when there is fear or apprehension about a disabled person.
People with disabilities face many challenges in overcoming pervasive biases and stigmas at work, in education, and in other aspects of their lives. Although Pennsylvania enacted laws and protections for workers and students with disabilities, discrimination continues to impact multiple facets of their lives. With the guidance of an experienced attorney, you can fight disability discrimination and make changes that can help others avoid the same painful experiences.
If you or someone you know has been discriminated against because of a disability, you should contact the law office of Andrew Shubin. There are time limits to pursuing legal action for disability discrimination. Waiting to take essential steps could hurt you or your loved one who has been denied access, neglected or deprived of services on the basis of his or her disability. To schedule a prompt, confidential and free consultation, contact us at (814) 867-3114.
Legal Definition of Disability in Pennsylvania
The federal American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the principal body of law establishing the definition of a disability. Also, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) provides the state’s protection for individuals with disabilities. An experienced disability attorney can explain whether your impairment or condition meets the standard to seek protection under the ADA or PHRA. As a general rule, the language requires that you:
- Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity without the use of mitigating measures such as wheelchairs, medications or other accommodations
- Have a record of such impairment; or
- Be regarded by your employer as having an impairment
Overview of ADA and PHRA Violations Filing Process
In Pennsylvania, you are generally required to file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission or with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice before pursuing an action in court. Some claims may be brought to other agencies depending on your circumstances. With the guidance of an experienced attorney, you can file your complaint with the appropriate agency before you file a civil lawsuit.
Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
You may be discriminated against in the workplace if you are denied a raise, a promotion or a position on the basis of your disability. Typically, qualified individuals with a disability are protected from disability discrimination. The legal term “qualified individual” refers to someone with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodations, can perform the essential functions of the position. What this means is that you must satisfy the job requisites and be able to perform the functions required with or without reasonable accommodations to be able to bring a successful workplace discrimination lawsuit.
Disability Discrimination at Schools and Universities
States are required to provide a free appropriate education (FAPE) setting to all children with disabilities in compliance with federal Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA). In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funds.
Only students who are educationally disabled are protected under the IDEA. The standard term for a child with a disability means a child:
- With intellectual disabilities, hearing impairments, speech or language impairments, visual impairments, serious emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, autism, a traumatic brain injury, or other health impairments or specific learning disabilities.
- Who needs special education and related services because of the disability
- You should talk to an attorney about your experience in order to learn more about the rights at stake in your situation, and if there are causes of action you can pursue.
- FAPE encompasses special education and related services that:
- Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge
- Meets the standards of state-level government action
- Includes appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education
- Are provided in compliance with the document known as Individualized Education Program (IEP) that is developed for each public school student who is eligible for special education
Schools are responsible for providing the least restrictive environment possible for all children between the ages of 3 and 21. This legal concept typically means that students shouldn’t be removed from their regular educational environment unless the nature and severity of the disability are such that supplementary aids and services are needed to educate the child.
Disability discrimination in education appears in a broad number of forms. If your child is subjected to unfair treatment or is not receiving the academic support he or she needs, you should speak to an attorney. There are many instances when disabled students are neglected and teachers don’t exercise their legal responsibility to seek professional support to identify and intervene to assist your child.
Disability Discrimination in Access to Programs and Services
Section 504 has a broad application in requiring access to all public programs and services. Also, Title II of the ADA prohibits government agencies from denying access to services, programs, and activities stemming from a public entity.
Discrimination in Transportation
Section 504 of the ADA also prohibits discrimination in most transit systems that receive federal funding. Transportation projects funded through federal assistance must be constructed and operated to allow effective use by persons with disabilities.
Call A Pennsylvania Disability Discrimination Lawyer You Can Trust
Attorney Andrew Shubin will guide you through the process of filing complaints for disability discrimination and ADA violation in Pennsylvania. He is compassionate and committed to fighting against disability discrimination. He is known for his proactive and effective approach to fighting for the rights of his clients. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at (814) 867-3114.