The workplaces in American changed in 1990 with the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Through this law, employers got legal codes for how they need to treat their disabled employees while employees officially gained secure rights. Under this law, employers cannot treat those with a disability or a history of being disabled as less than their co-workers who are not disabled. A reasonable accommodation must be made on the part of the employer to allow the disabled individual to work.
People with disabilities still face discrimination at work. Let’s look at a few of the most common forms of disability discrimination in the workplace.
No matter if a person is a co-worker, supervisor, or client, they break the law when they make derogatory or offensive remarks about a person’s disability. If the work environment becomes hostile or the person is demoted or fired due to their disability, they experienced discrimination.
Not Making Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable accommodations make applying or doing a job possible for individuals with disabilities. Examples of reasonable accommodations include an extra bathroom break or a change to their desk or chair. An employer will need to make these accommodations so long as they do not cause high cost or delay.
If two similarly qualified applicants try for a job, but the employer does not choose the disabled person due to their condition, then they violate the ADA. Employers need to make applications available for all people and may need to make accommodations at the interview.
A Discriminatory Work Culture
If the whole office or workplace and management style creates extra challenges for the disabled individual to do their job well or advance, that is discrimination. For example, “hiding” an individual from the other workers or the clients is unacceptable.
Actions Taken Based on a Person’s Disability
Taking negative action against an employee is a violation of the ADA. Even if the person is fired for non-discriminatory reasons, there may still be a violation. Demoting someone based on their disability falls under this category.
Everyone in the workplace should be aware of the ADA, how they might mistakenly take part in discriminating their co-workers, and what they can do to fight that discrimination. The legal team at Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, & Rivers is here to defend the rights of employees who may have been discriminated against. If you think your rights have been abused, give us a call today at (248) 398-9800.