If you have a disability, you cannot be discriminated against by your employer. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted to protect disabled workers.
The ADA is civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against anyone who has a disability in all areas of public life, including schools, transportation, jobs, and all private and public that are open and available to the general public. The ADA applies to employers who have 15 or more employees.
The law was enacted to ensure those who have disabilities have the same opportunities and rights as anyone else.
The ADA offers protection to disabled individuals much like the protections provided to individuals on the basis of sex, race, national origin, color, age, or religion.
You cannot be denied employment, promotion, or opportunities in the workplace because of your disability. If you are discriminated against because of your disability, then you have legal grounds to pursue a claim against your employer.
You will start your claim by notifying human resources of your situation, and they should promptly investigate and work to alleviate the problem. There are specific processes and procedures that must be followed when disability discrimination in the workplace has taken place.
File A Complaint With Human Resources
The first step in getting a claim on track after you have suffered disability discrimination at work is to file a complaint with human resources.
Human resources have the responsibility to investigate your request, and to make sure the problem is resolved. There should be a written company policy for handling discrimination matters, and they should follow those steps.
If they don’t respond to your complaint, or if they don’t come to a satisfactory resolution for you, you will need to pursue your claim by advancing to a higher level.
You will need to provide supporting evidence and documentation so you can show that the discrimination did occur. You must maintain detailed records to support your case.
Keep your employee handbook and any employment contract. Also, keep any documents that detail company policies and procedures. You should keep any memos, emails, and notes regarding the situation.
You will want to maintain proof that you filed your complaint with human resources. You should also document the discriminatory incident as well, and if there are photos, images, notes, or recordings of the act of discrimination itself, you should be sure to keep that.
If the company does address the problem, and the it happens again, then you can take action because it is obviously not resolved, and it has become a recurrent issue.
If human resources didn’t fix the problem, then you have grounds for a stronger case against them. For any claim to succeed, you will need supporting evidence and documentation.
Filing An Official Complaint
If you filed an internal complaint with human resources and the matter did not get resolved, you have reason to progress with an official complaint.
An official complaint should be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is a federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws regarding workplace discrimination.
They address all kinds of discrimination including disability discrimination. There is a 180-day calendar deadline for pursuing a claim through the EEOC. That deadline is extended to 300 days if there is a state law that also prohibits disability discrimination.
To file a Charge of Discrimination, you can go to the EEOC website and file a claim through the online portal. You will then be interviewed. You can go online and schedule an appointment at your local EEOC office.
By talking with an EEOC employee, you are going to be able to better assess your situation and determine if filing a formal complaint is the best thing to do for your specific situation.
If the EEOC agrees that you have a legitimate claim, they will act on it and be in contact with your employer and work to resolve the matter.
The EEOC can recommend that the claim advance to court if it cannot be resolved. The EEOC can fine or penalize the employer for their violations, and that is especially true if they are a repeat offender.
If you have been the victim of disability discrimination in the workplace, you should enlist the help of an employment law attorney who handles claims in your area. An employment law attorney will know the best way to proceed with your claim and will ensure your rights are protected.