Discriminating against someone because of their disability in the workplace is illegal. If you feel that you have been a victim of disability discrimination or have watched it happen in your work environment, it is important to know that you have options.
You should immediately bring this to your employer’s notice or contact a disability discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles.
However, before we discuss how one should handle disability discrimination in the workplace, disability discrimination in a little more detail:
Understanding Disability Discrimination
The term ‘disability discrimination’ refers to situations when an individual is treated differently in employment because of their disability, distinguished disability, or relation with a disabled person.
It is prohibited for employers to discriminate against a skilled individual with a disability due to the disability of the individual with respect to the application and hiring processes, or discharge of employees, advancement, job training, employee compensation, and other terms, privileges, and conditions of employment.
A competent employee is an employee with a disability who, with or without appropriate accommodation, performs the necessary functions of their role in the organization.
Disability discrimination comprises many actions and behaviors. Here are some the examples of disability discrimination in the workplace:
- Demoting or firing an employee because of their disability
- Indirect discrimination
- Not being able to provide reasonable accommodations
- Harassing an employee because of their disability
There are many more behaviors than these that are considered disability discrimination.
Now, let’s talk about the options available to individuals that have been subjected to disability discrimination in the workplace. Here are the steps that you can follow:
Understand your rights
The very first step in dealing with disability discrimination is to know, point out, and establish your rights. Various rules limit disability discrimination, such as providing reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. A disability must also not be a factor in making the decision to extend an offer of employment. It’s critical to understand your rights as an employee with a disability so you can assert them when needed.
Address your employer
At first, you may deal with the situation yourself by raising the issue directly with the people involved or with a manager, supervisor, or harassment/discrimination contact officer.
Informing the relevant authorities, which is usually the HR manager, is the next step. They may even be willing to help you resolve the case before you file a formal complaint.
File internal complaint
If you have informed your employer of the problem and yet they are unwilling to resolve it then you will have to file a formal complaint within your company. Filing it internally may provide them an opportunity to correct the problem and your problem could be settled quickly, without having to hire a lawyer or putting the organization on notice legally, regarding your discrimination lawsuit.
- File a charge of discrimination
If your employer doesn’t deal with your complaint about your dignity then you may file a lawsuit of discrimination with the national Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your State’s anti-discrimination agency. You can file a complaint within 300 days of the incident taking place. In some states, this limit is at 180 days. Once you file, the agency will investigate issuing you a right-to-sue letter.
File a lawsuit
Once you’ve received your right-to-sue letter, you may file a lawsuit against your employer/organization for the matter of disability discrimination.
Knowing your rights is the first step to exercising them. However, when it comes to legal matters, one must not shy away from seeking professional advice. Talking to an experienced disability discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles will help you assess your options and determine whether or not it makes sense to sue. They will also guide you through the entire claim process.