What is Disability Discrimination at Workplace?

By | February 28, 2011

Disability discrimination includes the process of making decisions regarding the hiring, promotion, job training, compensation, and termination of employees based on their disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits disability discrimination at workplaces. The Act protects employees who are mentally or physically impaired limiting a major life activity. The Act ensures that an employer does not discriminate against an employee on the basis of his or her previous disability.

When a disabled person is treated less favorably than those having no disabilities, it is called as a direct discrimination. If a person is discriminated because of the disability of his or her partner or child or any other relation, then it is termed as discrimination by association. If an employer does not provide any reasonable adjustments in the workplace to allow the disabled person to work, then it can also be considered as discrimination. Disable discrimination also includes any jokes made by an employer on the disability of an employee to harass him or her. Disability discrimination in addition may also include some type of adverse employment action or decision.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of the United States is an independent federal law enforcement agency which enforces laws against workplace discrimination. When a qualified disabled employee requests for the provision of reasonable accommodations, EEOC gives certain guidelines for the employers after checking and proving the disability. Employers can make some adjustments at workplace to avoid discrimination. Certain physical adjustments can be made to the premises where a disabled person works. An employer can provide special equipment for the disabled to help or assist in work. A disabled person can be transferred to a different workplace or a post. The employer can also alter his or her working hours. Reasonable accommodations are provided by ADA for disabled persons in workplaces.