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5 Signs of Disability Discrimination at Work: What Are Your Options?

The Americans with Disabilities Act was created to protect individuals from workplace discrimination. This includes incidents in the past or present that interfere with your right to work.

5 Signs of Disability Discrimination at Work: What Are Your Options?

There are a few noticeable things to point out when you feel that an employer is crossing the line.

Firing Due to Disability


is a good source of information on worker’s rights. It is a violation to fire an employee due to a known disability.

The ‘known’ portion is important, as hiding a disability can be legal grounds for dismissal. But an employee that has worked on a job who then becomes disabled has to be given adequate accommodations for their disability.

If you’ve been fired due to your condition, you can sue to get monetary compensation.

Refusing To Hire

Sometimes workplace discrimination happens long before an employee is hired. When looking for candidates, negative verbal feedback based on a disability is considered discrimination.

It isn’t unlikely for an employer to hint that a condition is a reason they didn’t hire a candidate. If they refer to a disability as a negative, it puts the employee in an unfair position.

If a potential employer singles your disability out as a reason for not getting hired, then make note of it. This is more than enough reason to consider it discrimination for a lawsuit.

Failure To Accommodate

The pandemic has reintroduced several new takes on how company’s view working from home. Employers have to make reasonable accommodations for disabilities at the office, and for workers at home.

Things like a wheelchair ramp or air conditioning are vital in in-office settings. For remote workers, having full job access from home means not having to come into the office for weekly or monthly face-to-face meetings.

Mandatory meetings should always take an individual worker’s disability into account. Disabled workers can always ask for accommodations, and if denied, take action as needed.

Avoiding Promotions

An employer is unlikely to give verbal or written cues as to why your disability led to a lack of promotions.

Fortunately, a wide gap in positive work performance can serve as a good visual representation of disability discrimination.

This is especially true for a job that has quotas – if you’re head and shoulders above the rest, then missed opportunities with promotions are a red flag.

Set up a meeting with your employer, and make notes on their reasoning for stagnating your individual growth.

Negative Performance Reviews

Raises are based on performance reviews and open the door for healthy criticism. Having a disability should not be part of that review, or become the reason why you’re receiving negative remarks.

When employers attack your disability during a performance review, there is no doubt that it is a form of discrimination.

The good news is that you’ll have it all in writing when talking to a judge about disability discrimination in the workplace.

You Have Rights

Workplace discrimination goes far beyond a simple misunderstanding. Both sides have to agree on what’s appropriate, and the ADA is there to guide these principles. By giving respect, it will always be received in the kindest way possible.


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