Over 60 million people in the United States live with some form of disability. While some disabilities can impact an individual’s ability to work, this is often not the case. A disability may have no impact at all on a person’s ability to do their job.
In the US, both federal and state laws protect individuals from being discriminated against on the basis of disability. Unfortunately, this is not enough to stop discrimination altogether. Outlined below are some of the more common forms of disability discrimination in the workplace.
The denial of opportunities
Workplace discrimination can occur before the individual has even started the job. Most jobs require an application process, which includes an interview. During this time, an individual may disclose their disability. If the prospective employer excludes them from the next stage of the process on the basis of their disability, then this could amount to discrimination. The same can be said if the applicant is applying for a promotion and is denied on the same grounds.
Failure to make reasonable accommodations
By law, workplaces are required to make reasonable accommodations for workers living with a disability. For instance, entrances, exits, bathrooms and workstations should all be fully accessible. Employees with visual impairments should have access to documents and software that makes it easier to do their job. The only justification for not implementing reasonable accommodations is if they would cost the business a disproportionate amount of money.
Harassment or hostility from co-workers
In some instances, workers face hostile behavior from colleagues because of their disabilities. Harassment, verbal or physical, is unlawful. This is the case whether the conduct comes from a coworker, supervisor, customer or client.
These are just some of the more common forms of disability discrimination, there are many more. If you have been singled out because of your disability, make sure you look into your legal options.