When you believe you’ve experienced discrimination based on your disability, you might not know where to turn or how you can prove that what you faced was discrimination. It can be too difficult to do on your own, which is why hiring an employment lawyer can greatly benefit you. One of our experienced lawyers from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC can help you prove that you faced disability discrimination in one of the ways discussed below.
What Is Disability Discrimination?
Every worker has the right to be treated fairly in their place of work. Unfortunately, sometimes workers are discriminated against based on something that they can’t change about themselves, like race, sex, or disability. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines disability discrimination as when a covered employer or another party treats an applicant or employee unfavorably because of their disability.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled workers from facing discrimination in the workplace. Here are five ways you could face discrimination based on your disability that are illegal and could warrant the help of an employment lawyer to prove you were wronged:
- Not Being Hired. You cannot be denied a position as an applicant just because you have a disability. Simply not being hired is not grounds for a discrimination claim, but when you and an applicant with similar qualifications are up for the same position, and they are chosen over you solely because you are disabled, then you could have a claim.
- Harassment. An example of harassment would be offensive remarks about a person’s disability by a potential employer, a supervisor, or a coworker. Any actions that create a hostile work environment for a disabled person can be considered harassment.
- Accessibility. When an employer hires a disabled worker, they must provide reasonable accommodations so that the worker can do the job they were hired for.
- Different Treatment. When a disabled worker is demoted or their job is changed just because they are disabled, then this would be considered discrimination.
- Being Penalized. When a disabled worker chooses to report discriminatory actions against them in the workplace and their employer penalizes them for speaking out, then they would be further facing discrimination.
Now that you know the different types of disability discrimination a worker might face, let’s take a look at how a lawyer would help.
How a Lawyer Proves Disability Discrimination
In order to experience disability discrimination, a worker must first meet the defined requirements of disability, as outlined by the ADA. According to the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental disability that limits life activities, and a person must have record of this. An employer cannot ask questions about a worker’s disability and must provide reasonable accommodations to a disabled employee or potential employee, like an ASL interpreter for a deaf applicant or worker.
Once a lawyer proves that you are considered disabled under the ADA, then they can proceed to proving the treatment you received from a potential or current employer or coworker was disability discrimination. They will look at how you were treated, any reports you made, and any subsequent actions taken against you so that they can create a full report of what happened to you and if it’s legally considered discrimination.
The main ways that your lawyer will be able to prove disability discrimination are if you have documentation and witnesses of the incident. For example, if the harassment occurred over email, you will need to save those emails and present them to your lawyer as proof. Having coworkers or anyone else in the workplace who might have witnessed the discrimination testify on your behalf can also help your attorney prove you were mistreated.
Filing a claim through the EEOC will also help prove that what you experienced was illegal. When you file a charge of discrimination through the EEOC, they’ll investigate your claim and determine whether or not disability discrimination was present.
Hire DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC to Represent You
After experiencing discrimination in your workplace, you might be feeling unsure of your next steps and how to prove what happened. If you need help with the legal side of things and proving what happened to you, then you could benefit from hiring an employment lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC.
Our attorneys are experienced in standing up for our clients’ rights and know the employment law that would best pertain to your case. Contact our office today so we can get started on your potential claim as soon as possible.