Disability discrimination and reasonable accommodation

Discrimination can take many forms, and the sad reality is that it has become so common in the workplace that many people shrug it off as if nothing terrible has happened to them. Don’t let that happen to you. If an employer has discriminated against you during any part of the employment process, from hiring to promoting and firing, then you need to consider whether legal action is right for you.

While we could spend a lot of time talking about each kind of employment discrimination, this week we’re going to look at some of the major points of disability discrimination.

What is disability discrimination?

Disability discrimination can occur a few different ways. The first way is that an employer treats you unfavorably because you have a disability. The second type of discrimination occurs when an employer does not treat you equally to other applicants or employees because you have a history of disability, a short-term disability, or you have a minor disability that has minimal impairment.

A look at reasonable accommodation

While workers who are covered under certain laws are protected from disability discrimination, the law also requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to these workers to ensure that they have equal employment opportunities. These accommodations could include modifications to the workplace for accessibility purposes, but it could also include implementation of an interpreter, the assignment of certain work duties, and anything else that helps a disabled individual better apply for or perform his or her job.

The limitations of reasonable accommodation

If you need accommodation at work, then you should discuss the matter with your employer. While they should try to make efforts to accommodate you, the law does allow them to forego a reasonable accommodation request if complying with the request would create an undue hardship on it. To determine if an accommodation causes an undue hardship, a court will consider the employer’s resources in conjunction with the cost of the accommodation, in addition to some other factors. An employer can also avoid providing an accommodation if it interferes with the functioning of business operations.

Finding middle ground

Even if an employer refuses to make a requested accommodation because it causes an undue burden, you shouldn’t then throw up your arms and yell about taking legal action. Instead, you’ll probably find yourself in a better position if you try to find common ground with your employer. After all, your employer isn’t required to accommodate your request exactly. There might be a way to find the assistance you need at a cost that is acceptable to your employer. By making the effort to find a middle ground, you better position yourself for legal action in the event that your employer still refuses to comply.

Taking legal action

A failure to provide reasonable accommodation is certainly one basis for an disability discrimination claim. But there are many other forms of disability discrimination, as well as age, sex, race, and religious discrimination, that you might be able to pursue depending on the facts of your case.

So, if an employer has wronged you, then you might want to think about discussing your case with an attorney who is experienced and dedicated to handling employment law matters. One of these legal professionals can work with you to build the case you need to protect your interests as fully as possible. Hopefully then you can find accountability, impose liability, and receive the compensation you deserve to the right the wrong that has been unfairly thrust upon you.

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