You maintain certain rights as an American employee who has a disability, and your employer, if covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act, has an obligation to avoid discriminating against you if you choose to exercise them. The ADA applies to employers that maintain staffs of at least 15 individuals. It also applies to labor organizations and employment agencies.
Disability discrimination manifests in many different ways. The more you understand about it, the more likely you are to recognize when you are a victim. Here are six ways employers may discriminate you as an employee with a disability.
1. By failing to make reasonable accommodations
The ADA dictates that your employer must make reasonable accommodations to make your job easier on you, unless doing so would result in significant hardship or expense.
2. By failing to hire you because of your disability
A prospective employer may not refuse to hire you based solely on you having a disability. For example, if you tell a prospective employer you have a disability, he or she may not refuse to hire you for fear you would need considerable time off.
3. By indirectly discriminating against you
With rare exceptions, a prospective employer may not indirectly discriminate against you by requiring that you, for example, have the ability to drive to hold a particular role.
4. By harassing you because of your disability
Your employer may not harass, offend or otherwise make you feel uncomfortable because of your disability under the terms of the ADA.
5. By retaliating against you
If you already made a claim about disability discrimination, your employer may not retaliate against you for doing so.
6. By discriminating against you due to something disability-related
Your employer also may not discriminate against you due to something related to your disability, such as your having a service dog.