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Signs of Disability Discrimination 

Signs of Disability Discrimination 

Employers treating employees differently due to their disability (i.e., Disability Discrimination) is not only rampant but also illegal. Common red flags can include:

  • Refusing to provide an employee with time off for medical needs and doctors’ appointments.
  • Retaliating against workers who assert their rights.
  • Demoting or terminating an employee due to their disability.
  • Failing to make accommodations for an employee’s disability, amongst others. 

The Law

Protections in place for the disabled not only include the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) but also Ohio’s Americans with disabilities act compliance. Ohio law defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and the law also covers individuals who have a record of having such an impairment, as well as those who are perceived by others as having such an impairment. The coverage of these laws is broad and can include such conditions as anxiety, cancer, Crohn’s disease, hearing problems, PTSD, panic disorders, visual impairments, traumatic brain injuries, and more. 

It is an employer’s duty to provide reasonable accommodations to both job applicants and employed workers unless evidence shows that doing so would cause them “undue hardship,” which often translates to significant difficulty or expense.

The Interactive Process

The ADA requires that if an applicant or employee makes an accommodation request, that request is addressed in an informal process, known as the interactive process. The process begins when the request is made in the employee’s preferred form of communication, and it does not have to be in writing. It can also be made at any point in the hiring process.

Once it is made, the employer should act quickly to communicate that it has been received and inform the applicant or employee as to what the next steps are and what to expect. A time should then be scheduled to discuss the request further. Suppose an applicant or employee communicates a problem with the hiring process or workplace, and this is related to a medical condition. In that case, the employer should treat this as a request for reasonable accommodation, and if the circumstances are unclear, the employer should seek clarification from the employee. This can include requesting medical documentation from the applicant or employee. However, when the disability and need for accommodation are obvious, obtaining documentation is not permitted. 

Recognizing the Signs

It is critical to recognize the signs of disability discrimination and to know your rights. Some of the most common signs of workplace disability discrimination can include:

  • Not getting the job due to your disability (as evidenced by an employer choosing a similarly qualified candidate who does not have the disability)
  • Being harassed by coworkers or your employer(s) (concerning your disability)
  • An employer refusing to provide you with the proper accommodations in the workplace (after the interactive process is initiated)
  • Being treated differently because of your disability 
  • Being encouraged to retire and having one’s contract go unrenewed 
  • Being retaliated against after speaking out

Columbus, Ohio Attorneys Fighting Disability Discrimination

If you or a loved one has been discriminated against in the workplace due to disability, our Columbus, Ohio, employment attorneys at Marshall, Forman & Schlein, LLC, are prepared to help. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your options – we provide free consultations. 

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