The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on their disabilities. However, many people still face forms of disability discrimination in the workplace, and they may not know what they can do about it. If you or someone you know faces disability discrimination, here is what you can do.
Understand What Disability Discrimination Means
Not all actions count as discrimination, and sometimes it's hard to decipher whether discrimination is taking place or not. Generally, if an employer or employee treats someone differently because of their disability, then it can fall under the purview of disability discrimination.
If a physical or mental disability does not affect job duties or performance, then no one has the right to use a disability as a mark against someone for any reason. Some examples of disability discrimination can include the following:
- Denying certain benefits or giving lesser pay to someone with a disability
- Firing an otherwise qualified individual solely because of a disability
- Harassing someone because of their disability
- Refusing to make reasonable concessions for someone with a disability
Generally, discrimination occurs if an employer or workplace treats an employee differently strictly because of their disability.
Speak With Your Employer
In some cases, it's entirely possible that your employer doesn't fully understand your rights. For example, you may lose out on an opportunity for advancement because your employer automatically thinks your disability disqualifies you. You can try to rectify the situation by informing your employer you're more than capable and that not considering you represents a violation of the ADA.
In cases of direct or indirect discrimination, you can speak with the human resources department, file an official complaint, or speak to your employer directly about the violation of your rights. Formal complaints will put your employer on notice and show that you attempted to rectify the problem through official means with your employer.
Make a Formal Disability Discrimination Complaint
In cases where an employer does not implement change to adhere to the law, you can file a charge with your local EEOC office or Fair Employment Practices Agency. At this point, you can also consider taking legal action. You can request a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, or you can wait for them to do their investigation and issue you one.
If you want to pursue legal action, you should contact a disability discrimination attorney. Disability discrimination lawyers will help you figure out the right course of action to pursue your discrimination claim against an employer.