Discrimination is rampant throughout nearly all fields of employment. This means that workers are often subjected to behavior that isn’t only demeaning and embarrassing, but also harmful to their career and their finances. They may miss a job opportunity, be passed over for promotion, be subjected to worse hours or work assignments, or even be fired. This is wholly unacceptable, which is why wronged employees need to stand up for their rights and find accountability for the harm that has been done to them.
Although some forms of discrimination are well recognized throughout the workforce, others seem to be given less attention. This includes disability discrimination. Just like with other types of discrimination, this form isn’t always intentional or obvious. That’s why it’s best to know the law and how to use it to your advantage.
Reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act
One way that disabled individuals are supposed to be protected from discrimination is through reasonable accommodation. Here, employers who meet certain criteria are required to provide these accommodations at every phase of the employment process to ensure that disabled individuals can enjoy equal employment opportunities.
Examples of reasonable accommodation may include the installation of a ramp to allow entrance into a building; providing modified equipment that make it easier for an individual to perform his or her job; and even modifying the application process to make it easier for disabled people to apply, such as by making the application available in braille.
Undue hardship limitations
Employers don’t have to make all accommodations requested by a disabled individual, though. If they can prove that a requested accommodation would cause them an undue hardship, then they can escape compliance with the request. To determine whether an undue hardship exists, an employer’s resources will be considered in light of the cost of the request. So an overwhelmingly costly accommodation request likely won’t be upheld. This, of course, is a gray area that is open to legal argument. Being knowledgeable about how similar cases have played out may provide some guidance in this realm.
Negotiating a solution
You shouldn’t give up seeking an accommodation just because your initial request is denied. Instead, you should think about negotiating another resolution with your employer. Even if you don’t come to an agreement, these conversations can help build any potential legal claim that you may have.
Building your disability discrimination case
In any discrimination case, documentation is key to building a claim. This means that you can position yourself for success by documenting everything. Write down the requests that you’ve made and your employer’s responses. Take pictures of your workplace to show how it is not conducive to working with a disability. Even take notes from witnesses who can attest to the way your employer has treated you and your requests.
Know the ins and outs of the law
Workplace discrimination case have a lot of legal nuances, and failing to appropriately address them can lead to negative outcomes not only for you, but also for other disabled individuals who come after you. That’s why you should think carefully about not only taking legal actin, but also whether you’d like legal assistance in building your claim. An attorney who is experienced in this area of the law can give you invaluable insight and guidance when it comes to the ADA and other applicable statutes, which can better position you for success.
So, if you feel like you’ve been wronged in the workplace, then now may be the time to reach out to an attorney of your choosing to determine the best way to proceed with your case.