It is difficult to live with a disability for a number of reasons. First, you never want to struggle with a task, but you don’t control the way your body functions. Your disability is out of your control, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a valuable member of society or that your employer should treat you differently. Even though you’re in a wheelchair, you have the same rights as others in the workplace. As long as you do your job as expected, you should receive the same treatment as others.
Sometimes, employers aren’t fair, and that’s a problem. It’s against the law to discriminate against people with disabilities. You are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and you can make a complaint if your employer discriminates against you. Here are four signs that you may be a victim of workplace discrimination.
1. Your employer makes discriminatory comments
This is probably the most obvious way to tell that you’re discriminated against in the workplace. If your employer is derogatory toward you because of your disability, keep any records you can to show his or her actions. Here’s an example. You were up for a promotion. You are qualified and do the entire job as required, even though you’re wheelchair-bound. You overhear your boss tell a coworker that you weren’t given the promotion because you use a wheelchair and he disagrees with giving disabled people promotions. That’s discriminatory, and you can file a claim against your employer for those actions.
2. You are harassed for your disability
Harassment is a problem many people with disabilities face. You should never have to deal with rude nicknames or statements because of your disability. No one should destroy your property or bully you due to being in a wheelchair.
3. You can perform the duties of your job, but your employer wants you to work on light duty
If you work on light duty, you lose the protections of the ADA. It’s important, especially because you can work full duty, never to accept a light duty assignment simply because your employer says to. He or she may be trying to get around the ADA’s requirements.
4. Your employer won’t accommodate you
It’s against the law for an employer to fail to provide reasonable accommodation to disabled individuals. That means that if you need a bar to help you stand, which is a reasonable request, your employer should install one. Or, perhaps you want to have an entryway rug flattened out, so your chair doesn’t keep getting stuck on it when you try to enter the workplace. These are reasonable requests that your employer should address for you.
If you’re discriminated against in the workplace, you have options. You don’t have to continue to suffer on the job. Your attorney can help you file a claim against your employer for workplace discrimination.