Discrimination against people with disabilities may sometimes be unintentional or happen due to oversight, but most often, it’s not, particularly in the workplace. Barriers to employment are rampant for these people. This can be estimated from the fact that out of the 61 million American adults with a disability, only a little over 21% are employed. Of these employed individuals, 30% do part-time jobs. In a research conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019, more than 50% of unemployed people with disabilities reported being faced with some kind of barrier to employment.
Barriers to Employment for People with Disabilities
There are multiple factors that can make it difficult for people with disabilities to find gainful employment. And most of them fall under the banner of discrimination in one way or the other. These include lack of access to public education and training, institutional bias, employment opportunities, and the unavailability or unwillingness of employers to make accommodations/adjustments for them on the job.
There are hundreds of thousands of people who, despite their disabilities, are fully capable of taking up full-time jobs and being productive. But they are discriminated against just because of their disability.
What Can You Do About It? Advocating Disability Rights in the Workplace
Here’s what you can do to counter disability discrimination in the professional world and claim your employee rights:
· Educate Yourself
You won’t be able to counter discriminatory practices unless you know your legal employee rights under disability protection laws. So, the first thing you must do is to educate yourself on them.
There are two primary federal laws that enforce nondiscrimination in employment – The Rehabilitation Act (1973) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990).
The 1973 Rehabilitation Act includes three sections that prohibit employers from disability discrimination. These include Sections 501, 503, and 504, requiring federal agencies, government contractors, and those receiving financial assistance from the federal government to hire and promote qualified people with disabilities and refrain from discriminating against them.
The ADA prohibits all government and private employers, hiring agencies, and labor organizations from discriminating against qualified people due to their disabilities at any step of the employment process, from job applications to promotions to providing benefits. The federal civil rights law also prohibits employers from firing anyone if they develop a disability during employment and regard it as wrongful termination.
· Talk to the HR or Your Boss
If you experience discrimination anywhere during the employment process, the first thing you must do is to talk to HR or, if you are already employed, to your supervisor, depending on the situation and comfort level. Bring the issue you’re facing to their notice. They may help address it.
· File a Complaint
If talking to HR or your boss doesn’t work, you must file a formal complaint to bring it on record. Make sure to refer to your company’s policies and consider the timeline (if there is any) pertaining to filing formal complaints.
· File a Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
Experiencing employment discrimination based on a disability makes you eligible to file a federal lawsuit against the employer. However, you must first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the state. The timeline for filing this complaint is 180 days for non-federal workers in most states. Some, however, allow submitting an EEOC complaint within 300 days of the discriminatory incident.
Federal employees only have 45 days to file the charge, and the complaint must be submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Program of the federal agency you’re associated with.
In both situations, you must prepare a strong application with any supporting documentation or evidence you may have. Getting an employee rights attorney to do it for you can offer great help in this process. Being experienced in dealing with such cases, they can help you build a strong case. They will also assist you in filing a formal discrimination liability claim or lawsuit in federal court.
Self-Advocacy Is Critical
If you are a person with a disability, it’s important to learn self-advocacy. Don’t wait for others to come to your help, raise a voice for you, or rescue you. Know your rights, learn to pitch your qualities and strengths to employers, don’t hesitate to initiate conversations around disability discrimination and laws relating to it, and don’t be afraid to step up and raise your voice against discrimination and file a complaint or lawsuit if needed.
Contact The Bourassa Law Group to File a Disability Discrimination Lawsuit in Nevada
What to know how to sue your employer for disability discrimination or need legal help with it? We’ve got you covered!
We at the Bourassa Law Group have a team of highly experienced employee rights lawyers in Nevada with a proven track record of success. We can help you fight against any discrimination you may have faced (or are facing) at the workplace due to a disability or denial of employment rights that the law entitles you to. Dial (702) 851-2180 to talk to our Nevada employee rights attorneys for a free case evaluation.
A Quick Guide to Suing Your Boss After Getting Fired for Extended Maternity Leaves
Becoming a mother is a meaningful life event, and maternity leave is crucial for new mothers to recover and bond with their newborns. The law in the United States protects employees taking maternity leave, ensuring they can return to work without fear of discrimination or termination. However, instances of employees being fired after taking extended […]
How to Protect Your Rights After Reporting Wrongful Termination
Being wrongfully terminated can be a frightening and upsetting experience. If you suspect you have been unlawfully terminated, you must act quickly to safeguard your rights and seek legal counsel. This article examines how you can protect your rights after reporting wrongful termination. Moreover, it also navigates how a law company can help you sue […]
How to Sue Your Boss for Firing You Due to Your Sexual Orientation?
It is against the law for an employer to engage in discriminatory practices targeting an employee based on their sexual orientation. In situations where you have experienced termination from your job, faced job denial, or encountered workplace discrimination due to your sexual orientation, it becomes imperative that you are aware of your legal rights. Discrimination […]
Misclassification of Employees: Exploring Legal Challenges and Consequences in California
When employees think about employment disputes, or violation of California employment law, many times they think of things like sexual harassment or employment discrimination, or wrongful termination. However, misclassification of someone who is an employee as an independent contractor has, and continues to be, a widespread issue in California as its employment landscape evolves rapidly. […]
Pursuing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer for Racial Abuse & Inappropriate Behavior
In an ideal world, the workplace should be a safe space where employees can thrive, free from discrimination and harassment. Unfortunately, this is often not a reality, with some employees experiencing racial abuse and inappropriate behavior at the hands of their employers or coworkers. Knowing you have options to protect your rights and seek justice […]
Pursuing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer for Religious Discrimination
The right to freely express one’s religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American values. Despite the clear separation between church and state, the government has put in place safeguards to protect employees who face discrimination and harassment in the workplace on religious grounds. Over time, society has evolved, but unfortunately, the scourge of religious discrimination […]