Disability Discrimination

Disability Discrimination

Columbus Disability Discrimination Lawyers

Federal law prohibits employers or other entities from treating disabled employees or applicants unfavorably because of that disability. This type of discrimination also protects those who have a history of a disability, for example, a person who formerly had cancer, but is now in remission.

In addition to prohibiting discrimination, Federal law also requires that employees be provided with reasonable accommodations for their disabilities. The only exception to this rule is if making a reasonable accommodation would cause undue hardship for the employer. If you were the victim of discrimination in the workplace, or if an employer has failed to accommodate your disability, you should speak with an employment attorney about your legal rights.

Federal Law

According to federal law, a person with a disability may be defined as someone who:

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as walking, hearing, or seeing
  • Has a history of impairment
  • Is believed to have a physical or mental impairment

The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against qualified employees based on disability in relation to any aspect of employment, including:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Wage or salary
  • Promotions
  • Training
  • Benefits
  • Job assignments

To be considered a qualified employee or applicant, a person must have a disability, and with or without reasonable accommodation, be able to perform the essential functions of the job.

It is also illegal to harass someone for his or her disability. Although some statements may not rise to the level of harassment, making offensive jokes or insults can rise to the level of harassment. For instance, when conduct becomes so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment or leads to a victim being fired or demoted, an employer may be liable for the environment.

Reasonable Accommodation

Employers are also required to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant who has a disability. A reasonable accommodation is any alteration to a work environment or to a standard job procedure that could help a disabled person apply for or fulfill the duties of a particular job. In some situations this could include:

  • Making a workplace wheelchair accessible by adding ramps or widening doorways
  • Modifying work schedules
  • Purchasing or modifying equipment
  • Adjusting examinations and training materials
  • Providing interpreters or readers for those with hearing or sight problems

However, an employer does not have to provide an accommodation if it would cause undue hardship on the business. To determine whether an employer could have made accommodations, courts look at a series of factors, including the company’s size, the needs of the business, and the employer’s financial resources.

Call to Speak to an Attorney About Your Disability Rights

If you are a resident of Ohio and were the victim of disability-based discrimination, or if you have been denied a reasonable accommodation, please call us to speak to an attorney about your legal options.

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