You Can Put A Stop To Your Employer’s Disability Discrimination
Disability discrimination can take many forms, such as an employer firing an employee because of a disability, refusing to hire a disabled applicant, refusing to provide reasonable accommodation to help a disabled employee perform a job, paying a lower wage to a disabled employee as compared with other employees, not training a disabled employee, and treating a disabled employee differently in the material terms, privileges, and conditions of his/her job. Contrary to an employer’s belief, disability discrimination is unlawful.
At Wilson Melton, LLC, our Indiana disability discrimination attorneys have more than 35 years of combined experience representing employees who have been treated unfairly because of their disabilities. We fight for workers who have been discriminated against because of their disabilities, denied a reasonable accommodation or retaliated against as a result of complaining about disability discrimination or asking for a reasonable accommodation.
The Answers To Your Disability Discrimination FAQs
It is not always easy to know where to turn if you are experiencing disability-based employment discrimination. Our lawyers have taken the time to answer some of the questions that we often hear about disability discrimination to provide information that could help you.
Am I protected under federal law?
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Rehab Act”) prohibit employers from discriminating against disabled employees or employees whom they believe to be disabled. The ADA generally protects all employees working for an employer with 15 or more employees. The Rehab Act generally protects government employees as long as the employer received federal funds.
The ADA also protects job applicants. The employer cannot use an employee’s disability against him/her when determining whether or not to hire the applicant for the job. The job applicant must be qualified for the job and able to perform the essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation. An employer cannot ask applicants about an employee’s medical information or require an employee to take a physical examination before extending a job offer. If a job offer is made, then an employer can only ask for a medical examination if it is job related and required of all employees holding the same or similar jobs. If an employee is turned down for work based on the results of a medical examination, the employer must prove that it is physically impossible for the employee to do the work required. If the employer withdraws the job offer after the medical examination, then the employer should be able to show that the employee could not perform the offered job with or without reasonable accommodation. It is not simply enough for the employer to rescind a job because the employee is disabled.
Who counts as a disabled employee?
A disabled employee is one who has (a) a physical or mental condition substantially limiting one or more major life activities; (b) a record or history of a physical or mental condition, or (c) been considered or regarded as disabled by the employer. Disabilities are not limited to individuals who are blind or are in wheelchairs. They can also include:
- Chronic back conditions
- Heart conditions
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Mental health conditions
- Drug and alcohol addiction
Employers cannot arbitrarily discriminate or take an adverse action, such as a demotion or termination, against disabled employees as long as they can perform the essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation.
Does the ADA require my employer to help me?
Under the ADA, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees who have disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is a modification to the job duties or work environment that allows someone with a disability to continue working. The exception is if providing a reasonable accommodation would be an undue hardship that causes considerable difficulty or expense to the employer.
What if an employee is being discriminated against because of a disability?
If you suspect that you are suffering discrimination at work, begin documenting every instance of discrimination that you experience. Speak with your supervisor about it – and document what they tell you. If your employer fails to take measures to stop the discrimination, it is time to contact an employment law attorney who can stand up for your rights.
Protect Your Rights – Schedule A Free Consultation
Take the initiative to stop discrimination and uphold your rights by working with Wilson Melton, LLC. Do not hesitate to contact us today if you are experiencing disability discrimination or retaliation. To schedule your initial consultation, please call 317-827-8302 or send us an email.