In 2018, just 19.1 percent of disabled people were employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While the type of position a disabled person holds will depend on their capabilities, many disabled people work seasonally or part-time with no benefits. Others, however, are employed full-time and hold their positions until they retire.
Unfortunately, disability discrimination in the workplace still happens – despite the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against job applicants and employees with disabilities.
If you or a loved one is disabled, it is helpful to know about the different types of disability discrimination that occur in the workplace.
If you have been discriminated against due to a disability, visit this website to see what recourse you can take.
The Definition of Disability
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a disability is any condition – physical or mental – that restricts a person’s senses, activities, and movements.
A disability can be anything that impairs or affects a person’s communication, hearing, mental health, learning, social relationships, movement, vision, and cognitive function.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a disability as “three-dimensional” – comprising activity limitation, participation restrictions, and impairment.
The Types of Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
When an employer treats an employee or job applicant poorly or unfairly because of a disability, it is defined as disability discrimination, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Furthermore, employees with disabilities are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
While disability discrimination occurs in many settings, it is most common in the workplace. Disability discrimination in the workplace can happen throughout the workplace lifecycle of hiring, wage negotiation, assignment, promotion, training, and termination.
The most common forms of disability discrimination in the workplace are failure to provide reasonable accommodation and harassment.
Harassment in the workplace due to a disability is a serious violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Harassment of employees due to a disability or perceived disability is prohibited.
Harassment can take the form of offensive comments, and the duration and frequency of the harassment can result in a hostile working environment. According to the EEOC, it may result in the demotion or termination of an employee.
Harassment can also come from a peer, co-worker, or employee in another company department. If you feel that you’re being discriminated against due to a disability, you should file a complaint immediately and seek legal advice.
Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodation
Employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodation to employees or applicants with disabilities at their own expense.
For instance, the building should be wheelchair-friendly to allow employees with disabilities to perform their job tasks properly.
The Bottom Line
It’s unfortunate, but disability discrimination in the workplace is a global problem. When disability discrimination happens in the workplace, it can affect people with disabilities’ livelihoods.
If you or someone you know is experiencing disability discrimination at their place of employment, speak up. Nobody deserves to be treated unfairly or poorly due to a disability.