The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides disabled individuals with legal protections from being discriminated against in the workplace. If your employer ignores your rights, you could be entitled to compensation under this law.
What legal rights do disabled workers have in the workplace?
Disabled workers have several workplace rights, including:
The right to fair interviewing and hiring practices
Disabled individuals are entitled to fair treatment during job interviews and, even before they are officially hired, potential employers cannot discriminate against them. It is illegal for a company to refuse to hire an applicant simply because they are disabled or to ask them certain private questions about their health or age during an interview. However, a potential employer can ask an applicant if they are able to complete the tasks of the job during the interview.
The right to reasonable accommodations
Disabled employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations for their disability so they can perform their jobs. An employer will only be excused from providing such accommodations if the cost or difficulty level of complying is too great for the size of the business.
Examples of reasonable accommodation could include:
- The use of a stool or bench if you work on an assembly line and you have a physical disability preventing you from standing for long hours.
- Providing a wheelchair-friendly work environment, for example, with aisles at least four feet across in diameter.
- Hiring an interpreter or another helper for blind or deaf employees.
- Modifying a newly disabled employee’s job duties or hours so they may continue to work.
- Reserving handicapped parking spaces for disabled employees.
Common Examples of Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
Sometimes it can be difficult to know when a situation is simply ignorance of others’ feelings or an act of intentional discrimination. The following list includes common examples of disability discrimination:
- An employer who will not reasonably modify existing equipment you use to accommodate a disability
- An employer will not allow a reasonable modification to your work schedule that fits your disability
- Being bullied or harassed at work because of your disability, especially after you reported the harassment to your supervisor
- The workplace is not made reasonably accessible to you, for example, your employer will not install wheelchair-accessible entryways or bathrooms
- You are fired from your job because of your disability because your employer will not modify training material or policies.
It may be useful to familiarize yourself with some situations that are not wrongful termination.
What should I do if I believe my employer discriminated against me?
If you believe your employer or a potential employer discriminated against you based on your disability, you can file a claim for discrimination. Work with our team to file the appropriate reports with the proper agencies. We may also help you bring a civil claim against the employer to help you recover appropriate damages for the discrimination you experienced.
When should I hire an attorney?
If you believe you have been the victim of disability discrimination, you should speak with a discrimination attorney at Robert A. Klingler Co., L.P.A. for more information as soon as possible.
Time is of essence in cases like this because there are different deadlines to file a claim with either the federal or state administrative agencies. There are even more deadlines for filing a civil lawsuit in court. Make sure you do not miss your window to file a claim by contacting an attorney as soon as possible.