discrimination in the workplace

The American’s with Disabilities Act of 1990 made it illegal to discriminate against a qualified employee due to a disability. Unfortunately, many employees are still dealing with harassment, unfair labor practices, and even physical abuse because of their disability. But, there are remedies available to assist anyone dealing with workplace discrimination.

Violating the ADA

A violation of the ADA can occur anytime an organization excludes or discourages employees with disabilities from applying for jobs or denies employment due to a disability. It is also a violation for an employer to terminate, demote, harass, or refuse to provide a disabled employee with reasonable accommodation. To qualify under the ADA, the worker must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a life activity. An employee with a disability may find it necessary to contact a Labor Law Attorney Near Me if they believe their civil rights have been violated.

Generally, any organization with 15 or more employees is required to provide reasonable accommodation for disabled employees under the ADA. Small businesses with fewer than 15 employees may face undue hardship with an accommodation request due to business needs or financial obligations.

Keeping the Company In the Loop

When workers learn they have a condition or an illness that may impact employment, a conversation with a manager or supervisor would be a great place to start. A brief explanation of the issue along with an accommodation request may be all that’s needed.

The accommodation request would be something that allows the employee to continue performing the job with their disability. Usually, the company will request medical documentation that demonstrates the qualifying disability, and the accommodation requested is based on the worker’s needs.

If the supervisor or manager is unable or willing to assist in this area, it may be necessary for the employee to approach the Human Resources department. HR should be well versed in the company’s official policy regarding employee disability request accommodation and may be better positioned to have the necessary modifications put into place.

This will also help with the paper trail to get official communication in writing. But, sometimes, it is necessary for a request to be made to someone outside of the company.

EEOC Escalation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was established in 1965 as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC is tasked with administering civil rights laws against workplace discrimination. Workers should contact the EEOC anytime they believe they have been treated differently or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or genetic information.

After an official complaint is made, EEOC will reach out to the company within ten days of the charge and provide the organization with a URL to respond.

After completing an investigation, EEOC may determine that reasonable cause for discrimination has occurred and request a resolution through conciliation. If this step is unsuccessful, the EEOC may sue the company in federal court or issue a Right to Sue directly to the worker.

The official Notice of Right to Sue gives the employee the right to file a suit against the organization in federal court. The entire process takes the EEOC about six months to complete, which is why workers are advised to make contact as soon as they believe their rights have been violated.

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