Many people living and working in New York city have disabilities, and they frequently require workplace accommodations to perform the duties of their jobs. Fortunately, under New York City’s Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), disabled individuals have the right to reasonable accommodations. As such, an employer that unjustly denies a request for an accommodation or refuses to discuss accommodations with a disabled worker may be liable for employment discrimination. Recently, a New York court discussed what a plaintiff must establish to demonstrate the failure to provide a reasonable accommodation in a case in which the plaintiff alleged he was terminated in retaliation for requesting medical leave. If you are a victim of discrimination in the workplace due to an actual or perceived disability, you should meet with a skillful New York employment discrimination lawyer to assess your potential claims.
The Plaintiff’s Illness and Termination
Allegedly, the plaintiff worked as a developer for the defendant, a graphic design company. In February 2020, he became ill and suspected that he contracted COVID-19. He advised the defendant that he could not work for two weeks and requested that the defendant provide him a reasonable accommodation in the form of medical leave. He requested medical leave on subsequent occasions as well, so that he could attend doctor’s appointments, which he alleged constituted subsequent requests for reasonable accommodations.
It is reported that the plaintiff was subsequently terminated. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging five counts of discrimination, including the failure to provide a reasonable accommodation and the failure to engage in cooperative dialogue about the request for such accommodations. The defendant then filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. Continue reading