People with disabilities are often forced to overcome numerous challenges in the course of daily life. Unfortunately, this includes major hurdles in finding work, obtaining fair pay, and dealing with employers and co-workers. While there are laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on disability status, it remains a serious problem. Find out some of the most common types of workplace disability discrimination and your options in protecting yourself against it.
Protecting Workers Against Disability Discrimination
The Illinois Department of Health Services (DHS) advises that there are numerous state and federal laws that protect workers and prohibit discrimination in the workforce. In addition to preventing discrimination on the basis of age, color, race, religion, sex, or national origin, these laws also protect people based on their disability status.
A disability is defined as any type of physical, emotional, or cognitive condition that impacts a person’s daily movements, senses, or ability to perform certain types of activities or tasks. Common types of disability discrimination in the workplace include:
- Direct discrimination, which is when someone is treated differently than others and deprived of certain benefits based on their disability.
- Indirect discrimination, which is when a company or business has policies in place that inadvertently discriminate against people with disabilities.
- Failure to make reasonable accommodations, which involves not taking reasonable steps to accommodate disabled workers.
- Harassment, which is when people with disabilities are subjected to taunts, practical jokes, or other antagonistic behaviors due to their disability.
Laws protect disabled workers against the above by providing legal recourse in the form of filing a formal complaint against the employer and a civil claim seeking reasonable accommodation, changes in the workplace, and compensation for lost wages or other damages.
How Disability Discrimination Often Happens in the Workplace
The above are common types of disability discrimination in the workplace. The following are examples of how it often happens:
- Not providing job applications for people who are blind, hearing impaired, or otherwise disabled, which is a common type of reasonable accommodation in Illinois;
- Inquiring as to disability status in interviews;
- Not allowing flexibility in scheduling or shifts;
- Not providing access to employer workspaces and break rooms;
- Not promoting disabled employees to certain positions;
- Denying them of training;
- Paying them less than other workers;
- Denying them benefits;
- Allowing a hostile work environment.
If you are subject to disability discrimination in the workplace, you should report it to your supervisor right away. If actions are not taken to address the situation, contact our Illinois disability discrimination attorney.
Request a Consultation With Our Illinois Disability Attorney
At the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline, we act as a strong legal advocate on the side of disabled workers. To request a consultation regarding your specific situation and your options in terms of filing a claim, reach out and contact our Illinois disability discrimination attorney today.