Insist on Equal Treatment and Combat Disability Discrimination at Work
A disability—whether physical or mental—is enough of an imposition without having to combat disability discrimination in your workplace.
How Does the Law Define Disability?
If you are disabled—or even if you are close to someone who is disabled—you may experience different treatment from your co-workers. Any such occurrence is an example of disability discrimination.
Disability discrimination involves the different treatment of employees based on their disability, perception of them being disabled, or their need to look after someone with a disability.
The disability may be visible or hidden, but the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008 defines a disabled person as someone who:
- Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
- Has had such an impairment in the past
- Can be regarded as having such an impairment even though they are not disabled
The ADA Amendments Act regards major life activities as:
- Everyday activities
- Major bodily functions
Under the ADA Amendments Act, everyday activities include:
Major Bodily Functions
The ADA Amendments Act regards major bodily functions as including:
- Immune system
- Cell regeneration and growth
- Circulation and the cardiovascular system
- Neurological responses
Anybody who suffers from reduced function in any of these areas can be classed as disabled. It is illegal to discriminate against them based on their disability.
What Are Some Examples of Disability Discrimination?
There are two types of disability discrimination recognized by the anti-discrimination laws in the U.S.:
|Type of Discrimination||
|Direct discrimination||Direct discrimination occurs when you are treated worse than your co-workers as a result of your disability. An example would be disbarring a disabled employee from client-facing roles due to a fear of how clients might react|
|Indirect discrimination||If a company policy or work practice effectively hinders you from performing a certain task, this could be interpreted as indirect discrimination. As an example, if company policy states that sales reps need to complete a certain number of physical sales calls each day, a physically disabled person may be effectively rendered unable to perform that job|
Disabled employees can also experience harassment in the workplace. The harassment can be verbal, physical, mental, or sexual, and an employer must take all the necessary steps to ensure such behavior is eradicated.
What Changes or Accommodations Should an Employer Make To Avoid Disability Discrimination?
An employer has to make reasonable changes to the work environment to accommodate you if you are disabled. The only limit on this is if the employer can prove that the changes would represent undue hardship for the company, but a discrimination lawyer will normally side with the employee in such circumstances.
The changes that an employer should make include:
- Ensuring disabled access is available to all areas of the company
- Making sure systems and company infrastructure are usable by disabled employees
- Providing bathroom facilities that are compatible with the needs of disabled employees
- Reassigning work schedules or modifying job structures
- Providing readers, interpreters, sign-language specialists, and braille company manuals
What Should I Do if I Experience Disability Discrimination in the Workplace?
Your first step is to ensure that your employer knows about your disability.
An employer is not allowed to ask you about any disabilities during the job interview process, so it is up to you to make sure management and your HR department are aware of any special accommodations you need.
If you have made your requirements clear and you still feel the discrimination is persisting, you should:
- Highlight the issue to HR and your supervisor
- Keep a detailed log of all occurrences of discrimination
- Check your company’s discrimination policies to make sure disabilities are covered
If these actions fail to eradicate the problem, your next step is to escalate the matter by lodging a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). DoNotPay can help you get this done quickly and easily!
How Do I Complain About Disability Discrimination?
If you want to pursue a discrimination lawsuit against your employer, you first need to file a complaint with the EEOC.
The EEOC is the federal agency tasked with enforcing anti-discrimination legislation in the workplace. Once it has received your complaint—known as a charge of discrimination—it has the power to investigate your allegations of discrimination and institute legal action against your employer if necessary.
Filing a complaint with the EEOC can be complicated and time-consuming, but DoNotPay can do the job for you in a few clicks!
What Do I Need To Do To Get Help From DoNotPay?
Filing a charge of discrimination through DoNotPay is easy and quick—all you have to do is follow these easy steps:
- Sign up with DoNotPay in your browser
- Search for our Fight Workplace Discrimination product
- Give us the details of your case
DoNotPay does the rest for you—after you answer the brief questionnaire, you can submit your complaint, and you are free to proceed with your discrimination case!
What Other Kinds of Discrimination Might I Encounter?
Discrimination based on disability may be the tip of the iceberg in your organization. You may also see examples of discrimination based on:
Some of these may only manifest themselves in wage disparities or covert discrimination, but all of them could and should be challenged. DoNotPay is here to help you fight any discrimination in the workplace!
DoNotPay—The Virtual Lawyer You Can Rely On
Discrimination at a workplace is a serious issue. Unfortunately, the problems sometimes escalate into full-blown hate crimes.
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