Disabilities In The Workplace Explained

DisabilitiesThe number of complaints of discrimination on disabilities in the workplace is increasing day by day. While some individuals are discriminated on grounds of physical disability and end up requiring the hiring of a spinal cord injury attorney, others are discriminated for mental ailments. No matter the reason, the disability in the workplace law prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified applicants in various capacities of work according to the official policy, and this includes selection, firing, promotion and compensation based on their disabilities.

Law of workplace disability explained

Any person with a disability is termed as an individual who has been regarded as having a mental or physical impairment or have a record of such impairment that limits one or more major life activities. A well qualified applicant is termed as a person who with or without reasonable accommodation is in a position to perform job duties necessary to the function. Here reasonable accommodation could include providing facilities easily accessible by individuals with physical impairments, adding or modifying devices or equipment.

As per the law, employers are prohibited from lowering equality to make an accommodation, which could make a charge of disability discrimination. The employer may argue that an accommodation is qualifying as an undue hardship depending on the accommodation cost, the business structure and/or the effect a particular accommodation may have on the business. Although disability discrimination is not limited to a specific set of circumstances, you will find two common situations under which discrimination usually occurs.

The first situation is failure to hire the applicant. When a disabled person applies for a particular position for which he is eligible and qualified, he can file for failure to hire in case the employer denies the post due to the disability of the qualified applicant. The employer is violating the law in many ways during the interview process. Asking questions such as the severity of the disability or how the disability might affect on-the-job performance are common ways of violating the law.

Failure by the employer to make reasonable accommodations is another instance of discrimination to disabled employees. It is rather complex to define reasonable accommodations. In general, they are minor allowances that allow a disabled person to perform his job in a better way. Adjustment of the desktop to accommodate a disabled employee in a wheelchair, providing TDD telephone equipment, adjusting time schedules, etc are common examples of accommodations. Now that you are familiar with the law on disabilities in the workplace, you can easily find out whether you or concerned individuals are a victim of discrimination and take appropriate legal steps to get justice.

How Americans With Disability Act Can Help Safeguard Your Rights

Are you physically, mentally or psychologically challenged or do you have one of your family members who is disabled? Are you wondering whether your rights are protected? The constitution of the United States guarantees the rights of disabilities in all its states. However, some states have enacted laws that provide more protection than their counterparts. All these laws are founded in regulations, statutes, and rules of procedure in courts commonly known as case law.

The congress or the State legislatures passes the statutes while the enactments that give life to the statutes are enshrined in the regulations drafted and domiciled in the respective agencies. These agencies are expected to ensure that the laws are respected. In other words, they enforce the law and resolve any disputes arising out of the complaints brought by people living with disabilities. The courts are established to help with interpretation of the laws and make decisions concerning the disputes. Here are some of the areas where the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is used to create and maintain the rights of those with challenges.

Guarding Against Employment Discrimination

Those with disabilities are not to be discriminated based on their disability. Instead, employers and organizations are bound by the laws and are expected to provide fair and equal opportunities without regard to the disabilities of some people. Sections 501 and 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 also guarantees the right to equal opportunities. The ADA binds all employers who maintain 15 or more employees while the Rehabilitation Act is applicable to the federal government and state governments, Federal contractors and all organizations that benefit from Federal funds.

ToiletsThe rules barring employers against discrimination in their organizations bind all the areas of employment. Disabled people are not supposed to be subjected to different treatment or testing whose main goal is to discriminate them. Instead, the law expects that all Americans living with disabilities are accommodated alongside their needs.

Employers are also required by law to create conditions that do not subject the disabled to hardships. Having said this, all the disputes that would arise about what is reasonably fair may be resolved. Physical access should be facilitated by the employers through various ways, including elevator, ramps and handrails. Signage should also take care of people with disabilities. For example, braille signs should be put on elevators to cater for people with eye problems. On the other hand, people with hearing disabilities are to be provided with communication devices or sign language interpreter to help them comprehend the communication in the organization.

Under the Disability Act, any person who has suffered discrimination is required to make a complaint in writing with the responsible agencies and authorities that are assigned the duty of enforcing the laws. It is necessary to notify the agency before taking a further action of filing the suit in the court of law. Different States have different time limits when a person can file a lawsuit seeking remedies for discrimination. This should be filed as soon as you feel that you have been discriminated and seek the help of an experienced lawyer in your region. A local lawyer is best placed to interpret and apply the Americans with Disabilities Act and the state laws so that you stand a higher chance of obtaining reasonable compensation for the discrimination suffered.

A Brief History Of The Evolution Of Disability Rights Movement

An estimated one billion people around the world have disabilities. Many of them face a range of barriers, whether it is to healthcare, education or other essential services. Reports of disabled people being subjected to discrimination and violence are also heard from different parts of the world. In several countries there is also stigma attached to the birth of a disabled child and they are discriminated against throughout their life. However, over a period of time, there has been a significant improvement in the living conditions of differently- abled people, thanks to the push for disability rights in different parts of the world. The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 is a major landmark, not only for differently – abled, not only in the United States but throughout the world. The act has been serving as a template to be followed, for it ensures equal treatment and equal access to services to those with disabilities, whether it is public accommodations or employment opportunities.
As mentioned earlier people with disabilities have had to fight centuries of social stigma, which resulted in their marginalization for centuries together. The situation continued to be worse during the 1800s with thousands of people with disabilities continued to live in impoverished conditions. It was only after the World War I that things began to take a turn for the good. War veterans in the United States began to push for their rights. The 1930s also saw gradual advancements in technology that promised a better quality of life for those with disabilities.
The war veterans put pressure on the government to provide them with vocational training. Their aggressive campaigning brought disability rights into sharp focus. This was a time when the differently-abled dint has access to even basic things such as bathrooms, telephones, and public transportation. This was also the time of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the first American President with a disability.
Come the 1960s and the disability rights activists joined hands with the civil rights movement and began to seek equal opportunities. Parents of children with disabilities began to campaign for their children to be taken out of asylums and be given access to quality education, just like any other normal child.

disability rights
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) provided equal employment opportunities within the federal government for those with disability. The act also brought in access to public services, as well as allocation of funding for their vocational training.
After several decades of aggressive campaigning, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990. The act was brought in to end discrimination of the differently-abled, whether it was in employment or other in places of public accommodation and transportation, among others. While the ADA has brought in a positive change in the lives of thousands of people, there is still a long way to go. People with disabilities, especially in the poor and the developing countries still continue to face stereotypical biases. However, there is no hope lost as disability rights movement has spread to such parts of the world, and it is only a matter of time before it results in the empowerment of the differently-abled people globally.

Information About The American Disabilities Act

American Disabilities ActThe Americans with Disabilities Act (also known as the ADA) came into force in 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination against those with disabilities who wish to access employment, accommodations, transportation and various programs and services. The Office of Disability Employment Policy offers publications and assistance to the public on the basic requirements of the federal disability act, including the obligations placed on employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and qualified job applicants with disabilities. The provisions of the ADA apply to private employers, employment agencies and both State and local governments with 15 or more employees.

The ADA prohibits discrimination in all areas of employment, including hiring, firing, compensation, training and advancement opportunities. Discrimination is prohibited against any qualified individual with a disability. Persons who have a known relationship or association with a disabled individual also are protected under the ADA. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as someone who is physically or mentally impaired in such a way that they are drastically limited in major life activities.

It is important to note that an employer does not have to give preference to a qualified disabled applicant over other applicants without disabilities. The employer is free to choose the best qualified applicant and to make decisions based on any reasons unrelated to an individual’s disability.

The ADA requires all employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled job applicants or employees who become disabled in the course of the job. Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the work environment or job that will enable a qualified disabled applicant or disabled employee to participate fully in the recruitment process or perform the necessary job functions. This also includes any adjustments to ensure that disabled individuals have the same employment rights and privileges as non-disabled employees. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include installing a ramp so that persons in wheelchairs can access a building, or providing the Employee Code of Conduct in braille format for a blind employee.

An employer is not required to provide a reasonable accommodation if doing so will impose an undue hardship on the employer. The ADA defines an undue hardship as any action that may require significant expense or difficulty to implement when considering factors such as the employer’s size, structure and financial resources. Employers are not required to lower their product quality or service standards to accommodate a disabled person, nor are they obligated to provide items such as hearing aids or glasses for a disabled individual’s personal use.

An employer does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation unless it is requested by the disabled individual. If an employer is concerned that a medical condition is causing problems with a disabled employee’s performance or conduct, it may discuss with the employee various ways to solve the problem and inquire whether an accommodation is needed. Once requested, the employer and the disabled individual should discuss the individual’s specific needs and identify solutions. Where more than one accommodation may be appropriate, the employer may choose the option that is less costly or easier to provide.

Personal Disabilities: Protection Against Discrimination In The Work Place


Every person, with or without personal disabilities, is assured of a fair chance at a career of his/ her choice by the law. However, discrimination against people with disabilities occurs and goes unpunished if the involved victims lack the knowledge of the laws that ought to protect them. If a disabled person experiences discrimination or harassment in the workplace, he/ she can follow the legal avenues to get protection.

What can be considered as a discriminatory treatment of disabled persons?

Any act that denies a person with a disability a fair chance at employment can be considered as an unfair or discriminatory treatment. Such acts could comprise non-shortlisting for a job, denial to interview for a job, firing, non-promotion, extreme verbal or systemic harassment of disabled people, and denial of employment benefits on the basis of a disability, among others. Each of these discriminatory acts is outlined by the law and victimized people can sue their employers or workplace actors who discriminate against them.

Protection against disability discrimination

To ensure that a person with personal disabilities gets a fair chance at employment, especially in the initial stages of joining the workplace, employers are not allowed to ask a person to disclose his/ her medical or disability when applying or interviewing for the job in question. The law only allows such an employer to inquire about the medical condition of a potential employer about his/ her medical and disability history after extending an employment offer to that person. Still, such inquisition should be standard practice for all new employees and not just the person with a disability.

Additional protection/ provision in the workplace

Besides the protection against discrimination, the law requires employers to provide a reasonably safe and functional working environment for persons with disabilities to enable these employees to execute their duties with maximum dignity and results. Provision of a conducive working environment would comprise reading software or hardware for the disabled people who need such tools, and wheelchair-accessibility for the persons who use wheelchairs. In some instances, time off may be required by people with disabilities who must take such breaks for medication or care.

Conclusion: Legal representation

If a person with personal disabilities experiences discriminatory treatment, a legal practitioner should be consulted. Such a practitioner should check all the laws that the employer or other actors in the workplace have broken, and proceed to advise the person who has been discriminated against on the best course of action. Proceeding with a lawsuit against the discriminating culprits could result in compensatory rewards, reinstatement of a lost job and or additional benefits for an employee with personal disabilities as the courts may deem fit.