Don’t make the mistake of assuming that someone who isn’t disabled under the ADA also isn’t disabled under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). The fact is, the NJLAD is far more generous in its definition.
Any physical or mental, psychological or developmental disability is covered if it prevents normal bodily or mental functions, or is “demonstrable, medically or psychologically, by accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques.”
Recent case: Diane Petras said her employer fired her because she was depressed and stressed out. She sued.
The company said she didn’t turn in medical forms and refused to accept a temporary transfer to accommodate her request for . It also argued she wasn’t disabled.
The court said her diagnosis, supported by her doctor’s opinion, met the NJLAD definition. She’ll get a trial. (Petras v. IAP Worldwide, No. 07-170, DCNJ, 2008)
- Warn managers: No negative comments on FMLA
- No separate emotional distress claims if conduct is covered by IHRA
- 12 weeks? 26? 38? Counting time off when caregiver leave and FMLA overlap
- Be prepared to prove you had reasonable cause to deny reinstatement after FMLA leave
- FMLA certification: Collect medical-leave proof the right way