Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants with disabilities in all aspects of employment.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

People with disabilities face unique challenges in the workplace. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants with disabilities in all aspects of employment. It also protects employees from retaliation when they complain or ask for an accommodation.

People with disabilities experience common patterns of discrimination. They suffer high unemployment rates, are confronted with prejudices regarding their productivity, and are often excluded from the job market. They also face discrimination at the hiring stage.

How do you know if you are the victim of disability discrimination?

Disability discrimination occurs when an employee with a visible or non-visible disability is treated less favorably than other employees or job applicants because of his or her condition. The ADA also protects employees from associational disability discrimination, which occurs when an employer subjects an employee to disparate treatment or an adverse employment action because they’re associated with a disabled individual, like a child, spouse or even a workplace friend.

If needed, an employer must provide a reasonable accommodation — an adjustment or modification that allows the employee to do their job — to a qualified employee with a disability. After a request for accommodation is made, parties must begin the interactive process to determine what, if any, accommodation should be provided. This includes but is not limited to working hours, type of workstation, means of getting to work, and medical accommodations.

Another law that protects disabled employees is Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits federal employers and employers who receive federal funding from discriminating against individuals with disabilities.

To help determine whether you have been the victim of illegal disability discrimination, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do you suffer from an impairment that affects your ability to do everyday things such as see, hear, walk, stand, or concentrate? Have you suffered from an impairment in the past? Does your employer believe you to be disabled in some way?

2. Do you require an accommodation to do your job? Have you asked your employer for an accommodation? Was it provided to you?

3. Have you been demoted, had your pay reduced, been terminated, or not been hired because you suffered from an impairment, illness, or condition?

4. Have you complained to your employer that you have been treated unfairly because of an impairment, illness or condition? Were you treated differently after you requested an accommodation or complained to your employer about unfair treatment?

How we can help you.

The ADA provides many protections for the workplace, but, in doing so, creates a complicated legal process for employees to navigate. Whether you have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of your disability and whether your employer owes you an accommodation are fact sensitive questions that can only be determined on a case by case basis. Employers have a team of people, including lawyers and human resources employees, to help guide them through legal issues. You need your own team to help navigate this complex process. The attorneys at CLC can help you understand and enforce your rights. Call for your free phone consultation.

If you feel you have been the victim of disability discrimination or you have been retaliated against for requesting an accommodation or complaining about disability discrimination, you should do the following:

1. Document Everything.

Take notes during any meetings, and keep a journal of any communications or events that relate to the unfair treatment or your request for accommodation. Write down the names of people who discriminated against you, refused to provide you with an accommodation, and those who may have witnessed the discriminatory behavior. Be cautious, however, about making audio recordings, video recordings, or taking photographs in the workplace, without checking your employer’s policies first.

2. If you feel you are suffering from disability discrimination, complain to your employer according to its policies and procedures.

Be sure that you tell your employer not only that you are being harassed, but that you feel it is on the basis of your disability. Although not required, it is best to communicate any complaints in writing.

3. Save all relevant documents.

Save all relevant documents, emails, recordings, records of communication, phone logs, text messages, etc. related to your employment and the violations of your rights.

4. Don’t Quit.

Your job is important to you, and you should not be forced out because your employer is not following the law. Call CLC, and we will help enforce your rights.

Let’s talk about how we can help: