What You Need to Know About Disability Discrimination
The Americans with Disabilities Act came into existence to protect those with disabilities in the workplace from discrimination and unfair treatment by employers. Disability discrimination is, unfortunately, all too well known in our modern times and happens when an employer treats an employee unfavorably because of their disability. The law makes it a requirement for employers to provide reasonable accommodation to employees and applications who have disabilities that do not interfere at the expense of the employer. The law makes it strictly illegal for somebody to be discriminated against or harassed in the workplace, no matter where they stand on the disability issue.
What Constitutes a Disability?
If you are limited from performing major life activities, then you probably have what is classified as a disability. This includes being able to completely care for yourself, hear and breathe to normal function, perform manual tasks, have a properly working immune system, and so much more. If you have a history of disability (like heart disease) you may also qualify for protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act and your employer cannot just up and fire you due to its existence. An employer must also reasonable accommodate you to the best of their ability, such as providing assistance or making changes to your workplace so that you can complete tasks – like providing a voice recognition software if you are visually impaired.
If you have been discriminated against for your disability or even fired as a result, you must file a discrimination charge with the help of an experienced attorney. We have the ability to help you through this sometimes-complex process. You must be able to describe why you believe you were discriminated against and also be given the opportunity to file a lawsuit. It is common to receive monetary damages from these cases such as back pay, benefits and other losses, attorney’s fees, front pay to compensate you if you cannot find a new job right away, damages for emotional distress, and even punitive damages that punish the employer for breaking the law.
Disability Discrimination in the News
An example of disability discrimination comes straight from 2015, when K-mart was forced to pay $102,048 to settle an EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit that stemmed from a man requesting reasonable accommodation in the workplace and being denied even though he had a disorder that prevented him from completing the task. EEOC Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis has commented on the matter, “This case demonstrates that the consequences of failing to comply with the ADA can be far more expensive than the actual cost of providing a reasonable accommodation.”
If you believe that you have been discriminated against in the hiring process or at any time throughout your employment, you may have a case. Call us today for more information on how we can help you. We will help you fight for your rights and any rightful compensation you deserve at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi.