If you are disabled, you have protections at work. You cannot be discriminated against for a disability thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
There are many ways that discrimination can take place in the workplace. Any employer that has 15 or more employees must abide by the ADA.
If they don’t adhere to the laws can face harsh penalties and fines. You can also pursue legal action to recover compensation for your damages.
There are many ways that discrimination can occur in a place of employment. It can be in the form of derogatory comments, jokes, or gestures toward you pertaining to your disability.
This discrimination could be the employer refusing to hire you although you are qualified, it could be failing to promote you, or not paying you the same as coworkers who are doing the same job but who don’t have a disability.
The ADA also requires that your employer make reasonable accommodations that you request. These are changes to how your job is done so you have an equal opportunity to succeed. However, reasonable accommodations must be within a reasonable price range and not take to much time to address.
Your employer cannot demand that you talk about your disability or disclose details about it if you haven’t asked for reasonable accommodations.
And your employer cannot reveal the details of your disability with any coworkers or customers. If any of these have taken place, you may be the victim of disability discrimination in the workplace.
Your Rights As A Disabled Worker
The ADA and federal law protect your rights as a disabled worker. Your rights include the following:
- You don’t have to inform your employer about your disability when you apply or when you are hired
- If you can do your job, it is illegal for the employer to refuse to hire or promote you, harass you, or pay you less because you are disabled
- You cannot be discriminated against by your employer because you have a disability
- You are protected from dealing with unnecessary medical inquiries in the workplace
- You have the right to ask for and get reasonable accommodations to have an equal chance to succeed at work
Remember – the ADA only applies to employers who have 15 or more workers.
What To Do If Your Rights Have Been Violated
If you believe your rights have been violated and you have been the victim of disability discrimination in the workplace you should file a complaint.
The first step in getting a claim underway is to provide details and supporting evidence to show that the discrimination took place. You will file this claim with the human resources department at your place of employment.
Human resources should take the situation seriously and investigate. They should make sure the issue is resolved so the problem doesn’t happen again.
If the problem isn’t properly addressed by human resources, or if there is a recurrence, you can file a claim with the EEOC. They will then investigate and determine the best way to proceed with your claim.
If the EEOC doesn’t get the matter resolved, they will suggest that you file a lawsuit. Through legal action you may be able to recover compensation for your damages, including any lost wages and other losses that are a direct result of the discriminatory acts that took place at your work.
How An Employment Lawyer Can Help
If you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace because of a disability, you should enlist the help of an employment law attorney.
An employment law attorney is familiar with the state and federal laws that apply to your situation and will gather the supporting evidence and documentation that your claim needs to advance as it should.
Some employment law attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, and if your lawyer does that, you will not pay anything upfront.
There is limited time to pursue a claim after disability discrimination. The ADA allows 180 days from the date of the discrimination for a claim to be pursued, but if your state employment laws also prohibit disability discrimination, you may have up to 300 days to pursue a claim.
Don’t delay getting the legal guidance that you need after you suffered disability discrimination. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share your details with an attorney in your area who handles employment law claims.