Non COVID-19 Disabilities

If you work in NYC, the Human Rights Law requires all employers with 4 or more employees or independent contractors to engage in a cooperative dialogue with all workers who require flexibility, also knowns as a reasonable accommodation, and disability is defined as “any physical, medical, mental or psychological impairment, or a history or record of such impairment.” This is a highly liberal and expansive definition compared with the equivalent federal law.

Your employer MUST engage in this cooperative dialogue or their failure to do so is itself illegal, and they cannot retaliate against you for the request, as the request is considered “protected activity,” separate from your protected disability status, whether the accommodation is granted or not.

If you’re dealing with medical, emotional or psychological challenges in relation to the escalating pandemic and need work flexibility–or time to recover–make sure that you notify your employer in writing so that they can engage in this required interactive process with a view toward keeping you employed while you fully recover from whatever ails you.