The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was a groundbreaking law because it federally enshrined certain protections for disabled people. The law not only required that businesses accommodate patrons with disabilities but also employees and applicants with disabling medical conditions.
Despite these important protections, there are still businesses that don’t treat workers with disabilities the way that they should. They instead engage in discriminatory practices.
Some companies won’t hire workers with disabling medical conditions
It isn’t easy to prove why a company didn’t hire you. However, if you were all but offered the job until you went into an interview and the manager or a human resources professional saw you in a wheelchair or recognized the signs of hearing impairment during a conversation.
All of a sudden, their attitude towards you changed, and you didn’t get the job. This happens far more often than it should to perfectly competent and qualified candidates.
Some companies get rid of workers who develop medical conditions
It isn’t just new hires who face discrimination but also existing employees. The sad truth is that companies will sometimes push out workers with years of experience and a history of loyalty to the company just because that worker got hurt in a car crash or suffered a stroke. Termination immediately after your diagnosis with a condition or during a leave of absence for medical care could be a red flag.
Companies often refuse to accommodate their workers
One of the most important protections in the ADA is the right to reasonable accommodations. Workers can ask their employers to change their shift, change their job responsibilities, install a ramp, remodeled bathrooms or purchase assistive technology.
As long as those requests don’t pose a hardship on the company, they should comply. Outright refusal to work with an employee is a form of discrimination.
When you understand what disability discrimination looks like, it could be easier to take action to assert your rights when you experience it in the workplace.