Best Ohio Disability Discrimination Attorney Answer: What should I do if I am being discriminated at work because of my disability? Can I sue my company for firing me because customers don’t want to work with disabled people? Who is the best disability discrimination Lawyer in Ohio?
Our employment discrimination lawyers have previously blogged about the claims that arise when employers give into the racial biases and preferences of their clients (read here: racial bias by nursing home residents, racial preferences by hospital patients, racial nursing home again, overtly racist Waffle House patrons, and racial preference by strip club patrons).
A recent jury verdict in Miami, Florida dealt with an interesting issue surrounding discriminatory and stereotypical complaints from customers about disabled employees. Alberto Tarud-Saieh worked at Florida Commercial Security Services as a security guard. Tarud-Saieh had previously lost one of his arms in a car accident and was therefore considered disabled under federal law. Tarud-Saieh’s post was located at a residential complex and the president of the community association at the complex began to complain to Tarud-Saieh’s employer in regards to Tarud-Saieh’s disability.
The community association president’s complaints were discriminatory to say the least. The community association president contacted Tarud-Saieh’s employer and complained, “The company is a joke. You sent me a one-armed security guard.” After receiving the complaint, Florida Commercial removed Tarud-Saieh from his post and ended his employment. It is important to note that Tarud-Saieh employer did not undertake any form of “interactive process,” or in other words, investigate whether Tarud-Saieh could perform the essential functions of his job as a security guard.
Tarud-Saieh proceeded to file suit against Florida Commerical arguing that his removal from his post and termination violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) . Tarud-Saieh’s main argument was that his employer relied on discriminatory customer complaints and stereotypes about what employees with disabilities, such as having one arm, can and cannot do. The jury agreed with Tarud-Saieh and awarded him $35,922 in damages after determining that Tarud-Saieh could perform his essential job functions as a security guard, with or without accommodation.
The takeaway from Tarud-Saieh’s lawsuit is that employers cannot hide behind discriminatory conduct or complaints by customers to get rid of an employee in a discriminatory manner. Even if customers are unsatisfied with a one-armed security guard, Florida Commercial was still required to engage in an “interactive process” to determine whether Tarud-Saieh could perform his job despite complaints that were clearly discriminatory. Bottom line, employers need to follow the ADA in all situations, even when customers are voicing their prejudices and stereotypes to the employer.
Having to live with a disability is difficult enough without worrying about the effect it may have on your job. If you are disabled or your employer perceives you as being disabled; and you have been fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, denied wages, or even think that you might need a disability discrimination lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Call our Ohio employment law attorneys at 866-797-6040. The best option is not to wait. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting disabled employees’ rights under ADA and Ohio employment law.
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