MHB Lawyers Have Wide Experience Fighting Discrimination Towards Persons With Disabilities
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and its state law counterpart, Washington’s Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), empower disabled people to fight discrimination and exclusion from places of public accommodation and the workplace. But among the many types of civil rights laws, the ADA and WLAD provide for an additional potent legal tool – that disabled people are entitled to a “reasonable accommodation,” which the ADA and WLAD mandate as an affirmative step by an employer, certain private businesses, and government agencies that may be necessary to ensure equal access for persons with disabilities to jobs, facilities, programs, and services.
For decades, we at MHB have assisted people with disabilities to fight for their rights of access and to employment, in a variety of contexts:
- We have represented dozens of people with disabilities to overcome employers unwilling to provide reasonable accommodations and workplaces free of discrimination, including obtaining lost wages and significant emotional distress awards for our clients, such as a recent award of $1.8 million in lost wages for an employee of the Snohomish County Public Utility District who was wrongfully fired because of perceived side effects from prescribed medication;
- One of our lawyers reformed the Chicago Police Department through a class action under the Rehabilitation Act of 1974, a precursor to the ADA, changing the standards under which police applicants with disabilities were hired;
- We represented an EMT who needed an implantable defibrillator after a heart attack, but was not allowed to return to work, a case that resulted in significant damages and set an important precedent for assisting first responders who are regularly prohibited from returning to work due to cardiovascular and cerebral incidents;
- We obtained a federal temporary restraining order on behalf of a deaf woman for whom a county court would not provide sign language interpreter services during all phases of her husband’s criminal trial;
- We compelled a settlement with local parking garage owners and operators to provide the number of wheelchair accessible parking spaces that ADA requires.
Our lawyers are skilled at assessing our disabled clients’ needs—through problem-solving, strategic thinking, negotiations or litigation as needed—with the aim of ensuring they have equal and fair opportunities to participate fully in society.