Regardless of their physical or mental abilities, every worker should have the opportunity to contribute and succeed. Sadly, this is not always the reality. Disability discrimination, an underhanded form of bias that sidelines individuals with impairments, continues to infiltrate our workplaces. It stifles equal opportunity, inhibits productivity, and undermines our shared human dignity.
Understanding Disability Discrimination
Disability discrimination occurs when an employer unfairly treats a qualified individual due to their disability, perceived disability, or history of disability. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal laws expressly prohibit such behavior, yet it persists in many workplaces.
To understand the depth and breadth of this issue, let us dive deeper. Disability discrimination can take several forms, including but not limited to unfair treatment or harassment based on a person’s disability and refusal to provide reasonable accommodations that would allow a disabled person to perform their job.
Examples of Disability Discrimination
- Unfair treatment: Meet Jose, an exceptionally skilled accountant with a visual impairment. Despite consistently outperforming his peers, he finds himself repeatedly passed over for promotions, which are instead given to his non-disabled colleagues. This is a classic example of disability discrimination.
- Harassment: Consider Gloria, a gifted marketing executive with a hearing impairment. Her colleagues frequently make derogatory jokes about her condition, creating an uncomfortable and hostile work environment. The indifference of her superiors to this behavior further exacerbates the situation.
- Lack of reasonable accommodation: Tom is a talented software engineer who uses a wheelchair due to a mobility impairment. When he requests a ramp to improve access to his workspace, his employer dismisses the request, arguing that it presents an undue hardship despite having sufficient resources to implement the accommodation.
- Discrimination in hiring: Sarah is an accomplished graphic designer with a physical disability that requires her to use crutches. Upon applying for a job at a renowned design agency, Sarah becomes the top candidate because of her impressive portfolio. Yet, during her in-person interview, the hiring manager expressed concerns about her mobility and ultimately offered the job to a less qualified candidate without disabilities. This is a clear case of disability discrimination during the hiring process.
Combating disability discrimination is a task that requires awareness, empathy, and action. If you or someone you know has experienced such discrimination, remember you are not alone. Legal remedies are available to protect your rights and ensure fair treatment.
A South Jersey Discrimination Lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Will Protect Your Rights
Disability discrimination should never go unchallenged. Speak with a South Jersey discrimination lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today if you need legal help. Call 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.