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Disability Discrimination against Employees

Dec. 18, 2017

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects qualified applicants and employees with disabilities from discrimination at workplace or in employment. This federal law applies to employment agencies, local and state governments, private employers, labor-management committees, and labor organizations, like unions. Other than the ADA, there are four other laws that protect disabled individuals against discrimination: The Civil Service Reform Act, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, the Workforce Investment Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Civil Service Reform Act.

All of these laws cover employment practices including hiring, firing, recruitment, benefits, job assignments, promotions, training and development, and other employment-related aspects.

Who is Covered?

The ADA and other laws protect the following employees:

  • If an employee has a mental or physical impairment that significantly hinders them in performing daily activities, they are protected.

  • If an employee has a history of disability, they are protected against discrimination from employers based on their impairment.

  • An employee who isn’t actually disabled, but the employer regards them as disabled and discriminates them on this belief even if it is not true, the employee is protected.

What comes under Disability Discrimination at Workplace?

It is considered disability discrimination by an employer, if they:

  • Treat you less favorably or differently as compared to other employees because you have a disability. This is known as direct discrimination.

  • Harass or make jokes about your disability.

  • Don’t make reasonable adjustments to the working environment for you to continue to work or allow you to work.

  • Discriminate you by assigning tasks as other employees that are very difficult for you to accomplish because of your disability. This is known as indirect discrimination.

  • Discriminate you because of having a connection to a disabled individual, like your spouse, family member, or child. This is known as discrimination by association.

  • Victimize you for reporting illegal actions or discrimination against you to legal authorities.

Understanding Reasonable Accommodation

Under the ADA, the employer must give access to reasonable accommodations by making certain changes or adjustments to the workplace that will help you to do the routinely tasks with your disability. These reasonable accommodations include:

  • Job restructuring

  • Flexible working schedules

  • Restructuring workplace to make it more accessible for employees with disabilities

  • Temporary reassignment to another position with “light” duties

  • Allowing to use casual or vacation leaves as medical leaves or take additional unpaid medical leaves

  • Providing interpreters

  • Adjustment of employee policies and training materials

In general, a reasonable accommodation enables employees with disabilities to perform their work just like any other non-disabled employee.

Contact an Employment Discrimination Lawyer Today

Having a disability, whether from birth or due to an accident, can make things difficult for a person to perform activities like non-disabled people. It is the responsibility of employers to make workplace favorable for disabled employees so that they can provide maximum productivity and output.

However, if you think that you are being discriminated by your employer due to your disability, you should talk to an experienced Roselle employment discrimination attorney to discuss your case. Contact the Law Office of Michael T. Smith today for a consultation.