Employment Discrimination Blog

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Good News: Number of Disability Discrimination Complaints Drops

How many disability based job discrimination claims are filed each year?

After a record 28,073 disability related job discrimination claims were filed in 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is pleased to report that this figure has dropped significantly since 2017. Federal officials state that 26,838 discrimination claims based on disability were filed in 2017. Similarly, the agency saw a decrease in the number of job bias complaints. While these figures show a promising reversal of the previously climbing number of job discrimination complaints, employees with a disability should remain on alert to ensure their fair treatment in the workplace.

Employment Discrimination Based on Disability

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990. The law prohibits discrimination against an individual with disabilities in areas of public life, including employment. Disability discrimination happens when an employer governed by the ADA treats an individual with a disability unfavorably due to the disability. It can also occur when an employer treats an employee or applicant less favorably due to a history of disability. Discrimination may come in the form of hiring, firing, promotions, pay, training, job assignments, benefits, and the like. Harassment of a disabled individual in the workplace is further illegal. Harassment could include making offensive remarks when these remarks become frequent and impact the work environment.

Disability Defined

To qualify as disabled, you must meet one of the following criteria:
  • Have a physical or mental condition that substantially impacts an important life activity, such as sight or hearing;
  • Have a history of disability, such as cancer that is currently in remission;
  • Have a physical or mental condition that is expected to last more than six months and is not minor.

Reasonable Accommodations

Employers are legally required to make reasonable accommodations for employees or applicants with a disability unless the accommodations come at a considerable expense or extreme difficulty. Reasonable accommodations could include making a workplace wheelchair accessible, having an interpreter for a deaf employee, and the like. If you are a disabled employee or job applicant and you feel that your employer has discriminated against you, now is the time to take action. Disabled employees who experience discrimination may be eligible to file a complaint against their employer seeking damages for their wrong treatment. Your employment discrimination attorney will review the facts of your case to assess your legal rights.

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