Your disability might make your life harder than you want it to be, but it shouldn’t impact your enjoyment of equal employment opportunities. This means that you should be treated fairly throughout every step of the employment process, from hiring and promotion, to pay and discipline.
Yet, all too often employers discriminate against workers with disabilities. When they do, disabled workers might suffer not only emotional strain, but also financial loss and damage to their careers.
You don’t want that to happen to you, as it could have long-term consequences that leave you at a financial and career disadvantage.
That said, a lot of workers who are treated unfairly struggle to identify if they’ve actually been discriminated against. That’s why this week on the blog we want to look at some of the signs that you’ve been discriminated against based on your disability.
Red flags of disability discrimination in the workplace
There are several signs that disability discrimination might be occurring in your workplace. Here are some of them:
- Failing to make reasonable accommodations: As we’ve discussed previously on the blog, most employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities when requested to do so. If they don’t, then you’ll want to scrutinize their justification. Although it might sound like they have a good reason for denying your request, chances are that they’re just trying to wiggle out of their statutory obligations.
- Denying time off requests: If you have a disability, then you probably need time off work for medical appointments. But if your employer regularly denies your requests to take time off, then they may be engaging in discriminating behavior.
- Retaliation: As a disabled worker, you have a number of rights. Amongst those is the ability to take leave to treat your medical condition. In far too many instances, though, employers retaliate against employees who utilize their rights. As a result, disabled workers are sometimes demoted, disciplined, or even fired simply because they’ve acted in a way that’s protected by the law.
- Forcing you to work beyond your capabilities: Another tactic that employers use to try to push disabled employees out of the workforce is requiring them to perform job duties that are beyond their medical restrictions. If your employer does this to you, then you could be at risk of injury, and your inability to adequately complete the task might lead to a negative job review that can have negative implications for your employment.
What should you do if you think you’re being discriminated against?
If you’ve been subjected to any of the circumstances mentioned above, then you should think about taking legal action to protect yourself. We know that can be an overwhelming thought, but there are steps that you can take now to better position an employment discrimination claim for success. These include:
- Writing down in detail every instance of discriminatory behavior
- Talking to your co-workers about what they’ve seen and the behavior to which they’ve been subjected
- Reporting discriminatory and harassing behavior to your employer’s human resources department
- Educating yourself on the workplace protections that apply to you so that you know what you can ask for and what you can refuse to do
- Retaining any positive communications about your job performance, whether that be received emails or your job performance appraisals
By following these steps you can create the strong employment discrimination lawsuit that you need to hold your employer accountable and recover the compensation that you need and deserve. That way you can turn the page on the discrimination that you’ve been subjected to and can focus on your future.