If an employer has denied you a promotion simply because of your medical condition or disability, they are violating both federal and state laws that prohibit such actions.
If you have a disability, you cannot be discriminated against or mistreated at work. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled workers.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which was enacted in 1964, has provisions that forbid discrimination in almost any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing and promotions. Title VII applies to any company that has 15 or more employees.
Many states have enacted similar state laws, but many of these state laws apply to companies that have fewer than 15 employees as well.
If you were qualified for the promotion, and you were denied advancing in the workplace because of your disability. If you were denied advancement because of your disability, then you can file a claim against your employer for violating the ADA.
Be sure to document everything, so you can have supporting evidence and documentation for your disability discrimination claim against your employer.
Title VII and Disabled Workers
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against its employers or applicants in the hiring, firing or promotion due to a person’s disability.
If you have been denied a promotion because of your disability, your employer may be in violation of Title VII. Title VII covers employers that work for companies that have 15 or more employees.
Certain states do have their own laws that help protect employers if they work for a company that has fewer than 15 employees.
Promotion Denied Because of Disability
The denial of a promotion because of disability is prohibited. As an example, a disabled worker from Minnesota was denied a promotion because of his status as a client with a disabled service company.
When he determined that was the reason for being denied the opportunity to advance, he filed a formal charge of disability discrimination under Minnesota law.
He said he wasn’t even asked to interview for the position and was told his application couldn’t be considered because of his status as a “person served” or as a client.
However, his claims were refuted, and the company said that the application was denied for confidentiality reasons and not because of the employee’s disability.
The agency said that it hadn’t considered any applications from clients since 2012 since its system cannot “shield” the private medical records of employees from co-workers, which would violate federal privacy laws.
Gathering Evidence and Supporting Documentation
You should maintain thorough documentation and evidence to support your claim. Take notes detailing what was said and who said as well as when it was said.
Also, be sure to keep any memos, letters, and emails that pertain to your application and the denial for the promotion. Also, keep any notices about the job opening and the requirements for the applicant.
If you have the qualifications or experience that is needed to qualify for the job, and if someone who isn’t as qualified for the position is given it, then it is pretty obvious that your disability may have played a role in the decision making process.
You should speak with an employment law attorney who handles disability discrimination cases so you can make sure your claim gets underway in a timely manner.
There are times when the employer may prevail for denying a promotion because of a disability. As an example, if there are legitimate safety concerns.
If you condition could threaten your safety or the safety of others, then they have cause for concern and reason to deny your promotion.
As an example, if you have seizures or fainting spells, and the promotion involves operating heavy equipment, then the employer would have a legitimate concern.
Working with the EEOC
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against an employee or a job applicant due to their disability amongst others (race, religion, sex, etc.).
The EEOC has helped thousands of employers who have faced disability discrimination in the workplace, such as being denied a promotion due to a disability.
If you choose to file an employment law claim against your employer because of disability discrimination, your claim needs to be filed with the EEOC before you file a lawsuit in court against your employer. To file a claim with the EEOC, you will need to file a claim with your local EEOC office.
If you were denied a promotion because of your disability and you wish to file a claim against your employer, you will need to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.
A charge of discrimination is a signed statement that declares that your employer has engaged in employment discrimination.
The charge of discrimination also requests that the EEOC takes remedial action against your employer. Many states and municipalities have their own anti-discrimination laws on a local level.
If your employer has denied you a promotion due to your disability, your employer may have broken both state and federal laws.
So if you prefer to file your disability discrimination on with your local state agency, you can do so and your claim with be “dual-filed” with the EEOC if your employer has also broken federal laws as well. That way you do not need to fill out your claim twice with your local agencies and with the EEOC.
Damages You Can Win in a Disability Discrimination Claim
If you file a disability discrimination claim against your employer because your employer denied you a promotion because of your disability and you win your claim, you are entitled to damages under both state and federal laws.
The first kind of damages you may be entitled to in a disability discrimination claim is compensatory damages. Examples of compensatory damages in a disability discrimination claim could be what your salary could’ve been if had been promoted to that position.
Another example of compensatory damage is emotional damage that you have suffered because you were denied a promotion because of your disability.
The other damages you could receive are punitive damages, which are made to prevent others from dealing with a similar situation that you were in. You may get punitive damages from your
Speak With a Disability Discrimination Attorney
If you believe that you were denied a promotion because you are disabled and you have supporting documentation, you should speak with an employment law attorney who handles disability discrimination cases in your area.
An attorney would be familiar with the state and local laws and would know the best way to proceed with your claim against your employer.
Many employment law attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, so they may not require upfront payment. Talk with the attorney about how and when they expect payment when you retain them to take care of your case.
Your lawyer will gather supporting evidence and documentation for your case and will make sure your rights are protected throughout the claims process.
Case taken from: startribune.com/minnesota-man-s-fight-for-a-promotion-spurs-disability-rights-debate-galvanizes-coworkers/367764411/