DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION & REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS
Disability discrimination is wrong and illegal. Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Delaware Discrimination Employment Act (DDEA) protect employees and applicants with disabilities from discrimination in employment. An employer may not discriminate in hiring, firing, promotions, benefits, training, or any other aspect of employment.
The law doesn’t just protect individuals with actual disabilities. It also protects employees who are discriminated against because the employer thinks they have a disability or has a history of disabilities. For example, I once had a case where a school district terminated a cafeteria worker they thought had a hearing problem. That worker successfully got her back pay along with attorney fees.
The ADA also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is a change to the workplace, the job, or other aspects of a position that allow an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions. Reasonable accommodations include things like allowing an employee with back problems to rest on a stool 10 minutes out of every hour, offering temporary leave to an employee to adjust to new medication, lowering the height of a desk to accommodate an employee in a wheelchair, making voice-activated software available to an employee with carpal tunnel syndrome, or providing a quiet office with a door that closes for an employee with attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Some Examples of Disability Discrimination include:
- Dismissing an employee for disability-related absences.
- Requiring an employee, who was having cancer treatment, to undergo a competitive interview process during a redeployment exercise.
- Being harassed or threatened at work because of an employee suffers from a hearing disability.
- Denied a promotion or employment benefits because of a disability.
Asserting your rights under the ADA and DDEA can be complicated and confusing to many individuals. The earlier you consult an experienced disability discrimination attorney, the better.