Disability discrimination is a situation where you’re treated unfavorably because of a disability and your employer or potential employer is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act (for federal employees). If you are applying for a job that you are able to do, a potential employer cannot deny your application because of your disability. However, the employer can deny your application if you do not have the qualifications to do the job you are applying for. The two acts also require an employer to “provide reasonable accommodation” to you as an employee or applicant unless the reasonable accommodation causes excessive financial or other hardships for the employer. If you have been discriminated against because of a disability, contact Morgan & Morgan today.
Many people think disability discrimination merely has to do with not hiring someone or firing a person because of a disability. It is more than hiring and firing. An employer may not:
- Pay you a lower wage because of your disability
- Withhold job assignments
- Unfairly pass you over for promotions
- Lay you off because of your disability
- Deny your training or make you take extra instruction because of your disability
- Reduce or remove benefits
- Change any other term of your employment or make it different from other employees who are hired for the same job
Additionally, an employer cannot harass an employee because of a disability. While the law does not provide for minor teasing and isolated incidents, it is illegal to make frequent remarks about a disability to the point that it makes for a hostile work environment. If the employee complains about the harassment, the employer cannot fire or demote the employee. Harassment could come from a co-worker, a direct supervisor or manager, a client or customer, or a supervisor or manager who is not directly over the employee.
The law does provide some protection for the employer in that the company may require that the applicant answer medical questions or pass a medical exam. New employment may be conditional on passing such a test. However, all new applicants must be subjected to the same questions and/or exam.
The law states that an employer must make reasonable accommodations for a disabled employee. As long as the change in the work environment is not financially prohibitive, the employer must make the change to help the disabled person do his or her job. Reasonable changes might include providing a reader or interpreter for the visually and/or hearing impaired, or making a building wheelchair-accessible.
For a change to be considered an undue hardship, the accommodation would have to be too expensive in comparison with the size of the company and the its financial resources. The employer may choose a different accommodation from what the employee asks for as long as it provides the same benefit of allowing the employee to work.
Contact a Disability Discrimination Lawyer
If you feel you have been discriminated against because of a medical condition, contact Morgan & Morgan to discuss the concerns you’re having at your workplace. With decades of experience and more than 500 lawyers nationwide, we have the resources to provide you with the best service and results possible. Also, you pay us only if we win — we never charge by the hour. Let us fight for what you deserve, just as we’ve fought for more than 100,000 clients across the country. Fill out a free case evaluation today.