Disability discrimination is evident when an employer or other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), treats a qualified person with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because he or she has a disability.
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act covers disability discrimination. In order for the ADA to apply, a disability must be one that is protected against disability discrimination
Not everybody with a medical condition is protected by the law. In order to be protected, a person must be qualified for the job and have a disability as defined by the law. If you qualify as having a disability your employer is required to make accommodations in the workplace that helps you do your job despite your disability. If the employer fails to do this then he or she may be accused of disability discrimination, which is illegal under the law.
Remedies for Disability Discrimination
It’s up to you as an employee to prove that you have a disability that is covered under the ADA before a disability discrimination claim is filed with the EEOC. An employee may also file a claim for harassment in a disability discrimination case and can claim that an employer failed to provide reasonable accommodations for the disability.
You are only protected if your employer has 15 or more employees and under the relevant state law for businesses who have just 5 employees or fewer. If you win your disability discrimination claim you may be able to claim the following as compensation:
- back pay;
- front pay;
- attorney’s fees and costs;
- compensatory damages;
- re-instatement of job if it has been lost due to disability discrimination and not something else.
If you believe you are a victim of disability discrimination you should have all documents and evidence ready to prove discrimination. These could include any of the following:
- your pay slips showing you haven’t been paid properly;
- eye witness reports showing your employer hasn’t accommodated you due to your disability;
- proof that if you have been fired from your job it is due to your disability and nothing else.
What are Compensatory Damages in a Disability Discrimination Case?
Often when someone is facing a disability through no fault of their own it is traumatic dealing with the disability in itself let alone having to deal with discrimination as an employee as well. If the victim wins a disability discrimination claim he or she may be eligible compensatory damages.
These are a calculation made for the amount of emotional harm and pain and suffering that has been caused by the discrimination. There is a cap on the value of disability claims for compensatory damages which depend on the number of employees in the workplace.
If an employer has from 15 to 100 employees, the cap is $50, 000. Punitive damages may be available in a disability discrimination case if the discrimination was either intentional or willful. To recover punitive damages, the victim has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the recklessly violated disability discrimination laws.
Apart from monetary compensation, one remedy for disability discrimination is ensuring that the employer changes his or her practices in the way people with disabilities are treated in the workplace and fair accommodation is made for these disabled employees. In the end the main goal for awarding damages for disability discrimination is to help put the victim back in the position he or she would have been if the discrimination had not taken place.
How an Employment Lawyer Can Help With a Disability Discrimination Case
If you think you have been discriminated by your supervisor because of your disability, you may want to contact an attorney. Before you do so you should make sure your disability is covered by the ADA as not all disabilities are.
By doing this it is easier for your lawyer to build a case in your favor and file a claim for damages and if you have lost your job get you reinstated with the assurance from your employer that suitable accommodation will be made to help you deal with your disability at work. Complete the Free Case Evaluation today!