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What Is Disability Discrimination In The Workplace?


Disability discrimination in the workplace is when someone who has a disability (which means they have a mental or physical impairment that affects a major life activity) is subject to an adverse employment action as a result of that disability.

Are There Different Types Of Disability Discrimination In The Workplace?

An employer might discriminate against an employee if they actually have a disability, or they could discriminate against an employee who they merely perceive to have a disability, or the discrimination might happen because the employee has a history of disability. All of these kinds of discrimination are prohibited by the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

How Do You Prove Disability Discrimination In The Workplace?

Proving any type of discrimination in the workplace can be very difficult. It would be unusual for a supervisor or manager to say or do something that would give an employee clear proof that their protected characteristic (such as race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability) was the real reason the employee was fired or received some other adverse employment action. However, a claim of disability discrimination provides at least one way of proving a violation that doesn’t require an admission by the employer. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), an employer can be required to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee with a disability. Those reasonable accommodations are required if doing so would allow the disabled employee to perform his or her essential job functions. In many cases, you simply have to show that reasonable accommodations could have been provided and were not. Sometimes it is even enough to show that the employer failed or refused to have a good faith conversation with the employee to figure out whether accommodations could or should be provided. In such cases, it doesn’t really matter whether the employer was motivated by bias or intended to discriminate. The bottom line is that a disability discrimination claim can be proven either by showing discriminatory intent or simply by showing a failure to provide or discuss reasonable accommodations.

What Law Protects Employees From Disability Discrimination In The Workplace?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) is the federal law that protects disabled workers in the workplace. Actually, the ADA covers a lot of things beyond disability discrimination in employment. The ADA also requires businesses to have wheelchair ramps up to their entrance, handicapped parking spaces, and disabled accessible bathrooms and other public accommodations, among other things. In the employment context, it not only protects disabled workers, but it also protects workers who are perceived to be disabled( even if they are not disabled), as well as employees who have a history of disability (even if they are not currently disabled).

For more information on Disability Discrimination In The Workplace, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 378-0466 today.

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