Disabilities affect millions of Americans each year. These conditions range from short-term to permanent, as well as moderate to severe. Many people with disabilities still hold full-time jobs.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers cannot discriminate against workers with disabilities. The ADA defines a disability as any impairment that severely limits at least one major life activity. Impairments can be physical or mental.
The ADA doesn’t provide a set list of disabilities, but an individual assessment can determine whether your condition qualifies. If it does, the ADA can shield you from discrimination in many ways. It can protect your rights when it comes to:
- Job duties
The ADA also requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations for you.
Although the ADA applies to all employers with over 15 workers, not all businesses comply. Therefore, it’s important that you recognize when you may be receiving unjust treatment. Here are two major signs that you may be the victim of disability discrimination at work:
- You are frequently or severely bullied.
The law doesn’t cover teasing or occasional tasteless comments. But it does cover harassment. This might include offensive remarks about your disability, which can result in a hostile work environment. Or maybe it leads to your manager demoting or firing you. Harassment could come from your boss, co-workers or even other managers.
- Your workplace won’t accommodate you.
Your employer needs to accommodate your disability. This may include having a wheelchair-accessible office space. Or perhaps your boss allows you to work a flexible schedule. However, workplaces do not have to adapt in ways that are overly expensive or difficult. If your boss refuses simple accommodations, though, you may be facing discrimination.
If you’re one of the millions of people with disabilities, you deserve fair treatment at work – just like everyone else. Keep these signs of workplace discrimination in mind. You might consider contacting a lawyer who focuses on employment law if you believe you’re the victim of this discrimination.