Disability Discrimination: What To DoBy Kenton Koszdin on November 12, 2018 | In Social Security Claims Process
Disability discrimination is more common than you’d think, and what most people like to admit. There are multiple ways that those who are disabled can be discriminated against in the workplace. If you feel you are a victim of workplace disability discrimination, it is important to know what you can, and should, do.
Disability Discrimination at Work
When it comes to being hired for a job, the employer cannot discriminate against you because of a disability. The same goes when determining your pay for a certain job, what job assignments you get, or even promotions that are available. You can’t be refused training that is offered to other employees and you can’t be denied fringe benefits if they are offered to your co-workers. Even getting laid off or fired cannot be based on your disability. If you feel you’ve been discriminated against because of your disability, you will want to contact a disability lawyer after notifying the Department of Labor.
Harassment in the Workplace
While many of the decisions made by the employer about your job cannot be based on your disability, else it be disability discrimination, it isn’t just the employer that can cause issues related to discrimination. A co-worker, a supervisor, or even a vendor dropping off or picking things up at your work location can also be guilty of disability discrimination.
If it is just a rude gesture, off-hand comment, or the like, and it only happens once or very infrequently, it is most likely not considered harassment. When these gestures and comments start to affect your job performance, or even your mental and emotional status, it is considered harassment.
Taking the problem to a supervisor or other boss may be your first step if those aren’t the people causing the problems. If you can’t go that route, or feel uncomfortable doing so, you can contact a lawyer that specializes in disabilities.
Reasonable Accommodation and Disability Discrimination
Any employer is required to offer reasonable accommodation for your disability if you are hired based on your education and experience. If your employer can demonstrate that providing you with reasonable accommodation will cause undue hardship on the company, whether due to finances or extreme difficultly, they may not be held to this requirement. Most employers, however, need to offer you accommodations to make working much easier if you are disabled.
An accommodation is anything that will help you perform your job. For example, if you are in a wheelchair, the employer might need to install a ramp. If you are blind or deaf, you may also need accommodations such as a sign language interpreter or special programs that allow you to use a computer. If your employer has hired you but refuses reasonable accommodation, or refuses to hire you based on the accommodations they would need to make, this is disability discrimination.
If you feel you’ve been discriminated against at any point in the process of trying to obtain employment or perform your job duties, it is important to speak with a lawyer about your options. With a free consultation, Kenton Koszdin can tell you whether it’s a simple matter the Department of Labor can handle, or if you should hire a lawyer to protect you, and others, from the same disability discrimination.