While everyone has certain limitations which they struggle to overcome in life, for individuals who are living with a disability, every day can be full of obstacles and challenges in both one’s personal and professional life.
In 2010, the U.S. Census Department reported that more than 56 million people in the U.S. were living with a disability. For the estimated 20 percent of disabled U.S. residents, securing and maintaining steady employment is often challenging as they must fight biases and preconceived notions about their abilities. For disabled workers, the Americans with Disabilities Act provides important protections against discrimination in employment.
Under the ADA, employees or job applicants with physical or mental impairments are protected against discriminatory actions with regard to the application and hiring process, pay, training, promotion, benefits and termination of employment.
In addition to providing protections against employment discrimination, the ADA also requires that employers make reasonable accommodations in relation to an employee’s disability and possible limitations. For example, an employee who is bound to a wheelchair may require certain accommodations to aid with access to and mobility around an office. Other examples of reasonable accommodations for employees with physical or mental disabilities include workstation modifications, work schedule adjustments, job training, specialized equipment and job transfers.
Unfortunately, there are times when an employer may fail to abide by the terms of the ADA. In cases where an employer refuses to make reasonable accommodations, inquires about an employee’s disability, requests that only the specific employee concede to a medical exam or makes derogatory comments about an employee’s disability; it’s wise to seek legal advice.
An employment attorney who handles discrimination cases can represent an individual’s best interests and ensure that his or her rights to equal and fair treatment are protected, respected and upheld.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Disability Discrimination,” July 8, 2015