According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the number of disability discrimination claims filed in the United States increased in 2016, part of a growing trend of workplace disability discrimination claims. That year, more than 28,000 claims of disability discrimination were filed with the EEOC, 5,680 of which were deemed to be actual cases of discriminatory behavior. Looking at this disparity, one has to wonder whether the true reason for the increase in discrimination claims is greater awareness of disability discrimination and a workforce that is more aware of their rights.
If you experience behavior that you feel is discriminatory in your workplace, take note of every instance where you feel you have been a victim. Discuss these instances with your supervisor and your company’s Human Resources department. If this does not resolve your issue, consider working with an experienced discrimination lawyer to file a claim with the EEOC.
What is Disability Discrimination?
Simply put any act that discriminates against individuals who have disabilities may be considered to be an act of disability discrimination. Disabled workers have the right to seek reasonable accommodations in their workplaces as well as the right to work in an environment free from harassment, negative performance reports, and failure to retain or promote them based on their disabilities. These rights are protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Failure to uphold these rights, such as denying a disabled individual the reasonable accommodation he or she seeks, is an act of disability discrimination.
It is important to note that in some cases, an employer cannot meet an employee’s request for accommodation and in other cases, an applicant or employee’s disability makes it impossible for him or her to perform a job. When a requested accommodation would create an undue safety, productivity, or financial hardship on the company or its other employees, the company does not have to comply with the worker’s request.
Is Workplace Disability Discrimination Becoming More Prevalent?
It can be difficult to determine whether the increase in reported incidents of disability discrimination is due to increased instances of discrimination or a more knowledgeable workforce more willing to file discrimination claims. What we do know is that disabled individuals face a disproportionate amount of discrimination in their workplaces when compared to other groups. Approximately 20 percent of the American population is disabled in some way and of these individuals, only 17 percent held jobs in 2015. Approximately one third of discrimination claims filed with the EEOC involved disability discrimination in 2016.
Work with an Experienced New York Disability Lawyer
Nobody deserves to have his or her career curtailed because of discriminatory behavior at the hands of his or her employer. If you experience workplace discrimination, speak with one of the knowledgeable discrimination lawyers at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. Contact our firm today to schedule your initial legal consultation with us.