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Understanding Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Knowing your rights as an employee with disabilities is essential to ensure you have fair treatment and access to the same opportunities in the workplace as everyone else. This information is also valuable when seeking employment, as well as feeling secure in your job after being hired. From understanding reasonable accommodations to knowing what steps to take if you suspect discrimination, educating yourself on disability discrimination laws can help you protect yourself and stand up for your rights.

Defining Disability Discrimination

When an employee with a disability is subjected to unfair treatment in the workplace based on their disability, it is considered disability discrimination. This can include denial of particular jobs or job duties, exclusion from fringe employment benefits or employment-related activities, or even termination. Disability discrimination can be subtle and may be overlooked by employers or coworkers who may not realize their behavior is discriminatory.

Legal Protections for Individuals with Disabilities

Individuals with disabilities have legal protections prohibiting the violation of their rights. These protections ensure that individuals with disabilities are not discriminated against in housing, employment, education, and access to public accommodations.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of the most significant pieces of legislation in this area, as it ensures that individuals with disabilities are granted equal access and opportunity in all areas of life. It also requires businesses and public entities to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

Reasonable Accommodations for Employees with Disabilities

The ADA and/or applicable state human rights laws require employers to offer reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities to guarantee equal opportunity and treatment in the workplace. Reasonable accommodations can range from simple adjustments to the work environment to more complex solutions involving modifying job duties or making schedule changes. Other common accommodations include providing assistive technologies or tools, modified workstations, accessible facilities, and additional support or training.

Take Action if You Believe Discrimination is Occurring in the Workplace

Discrimination in the workplace can have a devastating impact on employees and can severely damage an organization's culture. If you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing discrimination, it is crucial to take action.

The first step is documenting discriminatory behavior, including dates, times, and witnesses. Speaking with a trusted colleague or human resources representative for support and guidance can also be helpful.

Additionally, speaking with an experienced employment lawyer is important to assess your legal options. For nearly 50 years, the lawyers at Nichols Kaster PLLP have advocated for employees and fought against workplace discrimination. Our knowledgeable attorneys are passionate about defending the rights of disabled employees, so you can trust you're in good hands.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against or targeted due to your disability, contact Nichols Kaster PLLP for further guidance and assistance with your case. (877) 344-4628