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Discrimination Against Workers with Disabilities Hits Record Levels

Posted on February 13, 2017 Author:

Officials with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claim instances of disability discrimination complaints have skyrocketed. According to the EEOC, there were 28,073 complaints of discrimination against workers with disabilities in 2016. Prior reports released by the EEOC suggest many of these complaints involved discrimination directed at workers with mental illnesses.

The EEOC recently published a new document explaining rights workers with disabling mental health conditions have under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Employers may forget, or not realize, that mental health conditions are considered a disability if they substantially limit workers in one or more life activities. Workers with disabilities have federal and state workplace protections that protect them from discrimination.

How Are Workers with Disabilities Being Targeted by Discrimination?

Workers with disabilities may experience discrimination in several ways. In all cases, these workers are treated differently than their peers. The following three examples can provide more perspective.

  • Employers may discriminate by denying reasonable accommodations to workers with mental health conditions. Reasonable accommodations could include allowing time off for medical appointments, or changing the schedules.

  • Employers can discriminate by blocking workers with mental health conditions from promotions. In addition, they may fire workers or force them to take leave.

  • Under most circumstances, employers cannot ask workers if they have medical conditions. Employers who discriminate may harass workers by asking inappropriate questions about mental health. In other cases, they may direct unwelcome comments or verbal harassment towards these workers.

  • Depending on the circumstances, workers experiencing disability discrimination may have legal options. For example, the ADA may require employers to provide reasonable accommodations. A denial of these accommodations may be unlawful.

If you are being targeted by workplace disability discrimination, the Los Angeles employment law attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. can help you explore possible legal options.