If you’re working and suffer from a disability, you might find that you aren’t getting the same favorable treatment as other able bodied employees. Luckily, there are laws out there to protect you from discrimination. The the ADA as well as other local and state laws are in place to make sure you don’t suffer from any discrimination while at work. If you work for a company with 15 employees or more and have a mental or physical impairment which limits substantially a major activity in life, you are covered and protected by this law.
Is Every Disabled Employee Protected?
Although many disabled workers are protected by the ADA, employees must be properly qualified to hold the position in question. They must have the required experience, qualifications and education for the role as well as being able to perform the necessary functions of the job, (reasonable accommodations are permitted). These are the key tasks which are linked to the position rather than inessential or peripheral duties. For example, if you are working as a receptionist in an office, lifting boxes of printer paper a couple of times monthly wouldn’t be a vital function, but being able to answer the telephone would be.
Making A Reasonable Accommodation
Applicants and employees who have a disability are entitled to have reasonable accommodations made to carry out their job. The term reasonable accommodations means making changes to the job, workplace or equipment to allow anyone with disabilities to carry out their job role’s essential functions. This includes things such as lowering desk heights, using voice activated software or supplying TTD telephone equipment for employees with hearing loss.
Violations Of The ADA
If you’re suffering from a disability and feel you’re being discriminated against at work, seeking legal help is important. There are a number of violations of the ADA which should be reported to an attorney. These include:
- Your employer refusing reasonable accommodations during the process of application.
- Refusing to even consider an applicant with a disability.
- Requiring the applicant to undergo a medical examination before offering the position.
- Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace after offering a job.
- Refusing to discuss making a reasonable accommodation.
- Choosing a disabled employee for redundancy over other less qualified candidates.
- Allowing harassment of disabled colleagues to take place in the workplace.
If you feel that you’ve faced any problems of this nature in your workplace or when applying for a position, or if you consider that you’ve faced discrimination at work due to your disability, it’s always wise to seek out professional legal advice. There are lawyers who specialize in disability and employment law and who can help you to receive any compensation that you are entitled to, protect your own working rights or get you a settlement if your case is deemed to be worth pursuing. Disabled people have their rights protected in the workplace by law and must stand up for those rights and make sure that they get the good treatment that they are entitled to.