Disability Discrimination in the Workplace: Know the Legal Protections Available for You

Federal and state laws prevent most employers from making decisions or taking actions based on the physical or mental impairments of a job applicant or employee. A person’s disability should not keep them from pursuing their chosen career when their employer can make reasonable accommodations that will let them perform their job duties. Discrimination victims can turn to an experienced Employment Discrimination Attorney in Austin for legal assistance. 

Legal Protection Against Discrimination for Employees with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA protects employees or job applicants who have a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits their major life activities. This law applies to private businesses, state and local governments, educational institutions, labor organizations, and employment agencies with at least 15 employees. In addition, any person who has a physical or mental impairment and works for or is applying for a job with the federal government, a federal government contractor, or a subcontractor that has more than $10, 000 in contrast or subcontracts is protected against discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act. This law does not just prohibit employers from discrimination against employees and job applicants when making hiring, promotion, firing, and compensation decisions. Under this law, employers are required to make an effort to employ and advance individuals with disabilities. 

Employers covered by ADA can’t take a person’s disability into consideration when making decisions regarding hiring, firing, promotion, benefits, or pay. Also, employers should make reasonable accommodations that let a disabled worker perform their job or apply for a position. Employers are prohibited from creating a hostile environment by harassing an employee or applicant.

What to Do as a Victim of Discrimination

If you work for a private company and believe you have been discriminated against because of your disability, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC. Federal employees or job applicants can file a complaint against a federal agency under the Rehabilitation Act with its equal employment opportunity office. 

The majority of states also have laws that prohibit disability discrimination in the workplace. The provisions of these state laws can be more stringent than the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. While the actions of an employer or possible employer might not be considered discriminatory under federal law, the state law might classify it as such. This makes it important to investigate the employment discrimination laws of your state if you are not sure whether or not you have a discrimination case against someone from your workplace. A discrimination attorney can help you navigate the complexities of these laws. 

Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.