Maybe you had a disability when you were hired, or perhaps it developed over time. It could be the result of a progressive disease, like Multiple Sclerosis, or the end result of a serious accident. Sometimes, it could be a disease like cancer. Regardless of the cause or the nature of your disability, your employer is required by federal law to make reasonable accommodations for you. Failing to do so could prevent you from keeping your job and is in direct violation of the law.
Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes. From loss of mobility to issues with hearing and eyesight, these medical issues can change your ability to work. However, many times, once you’ve acclimated to the condition, you can find a way to return to work. In order to do so, you need your employer to provide accommodations that make your job possible.
The Unites States has banned disability discrimination
Under the Employment Equal Opportunity Act (EEOC), employers may not consider an employee’s disability when making decisions about hiring, firing, layoffs, raises and promotions. Unfortunately, while it may be the law, many employers don’t comply. They may think that firing you or making the workplace so uncomfortable that you quit is a better option than agreeing to accommodate your disability.
Usually, the motivation for this kind of discrimination is financial. While reasonable accommodations may cost some money, they could help your employer keep someone skilled in their current position.
Ramps for those with mobility issues, special chairs and other accommodations can make your workplace more inclusive. They also cost money. Many times, holding your employer accountable for discrimination is the only way to change this kind of practice. A lawsuit could cost a lot more than just installing a ramp to the main entrance.
Harassment and disability-based bad reviews are also illegal
Does your boss makes jokes at your expense or refuse to address this kind of harassment from other workers when you report it? If so, you could be dealing with a classic hostile work environment.
It is common for businesses who don’t want to work with a disabled employee’s medical needs to allow a toxic situation in the hope that it will drive that employee out of the company.
Sometimes, places are more subtle. They could start giving you negative performance reviews because of your disability needs. If the only thing that has changed is your medical situation and not your work ethic, your boss may be trying to create an excuse for firing or demoting you.
You shouldn’t stand by and let them force you out of your job because they won’t comply with the law. You need to take steps to document harassment or mistreatment that results from your disability.