People with disabilities can find it extremely difficult to find work in Pennsylvania and around the country, and those who are able to secure a job are often treated unfairly and earn about $1,000 less per month than workers without disabilities. The unemployment rate among working-age people with disabilities is a worryingly high 70 percent, and claims of disability-related workplace bias reached an all-time high of 28,073 in 2016, according to figures from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Pennsylvania workers may be interested in the details of a lawsuit that has been filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a skilled nursing facility. The lawsuit alleges that the company discriminated against an employee by first denying her medical leave and then firing her for reasons related to a medical condition.
Employees in Pennsylvania or anywhere else in the United States have a right to talk to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As a general rule, employers are not allowed to take any actions that may chill an employee's willingness to report discrimination within an organization. This may mean that employers are not allowed to send messages from in-house counsel to employees informing them about actions involving the EEOC.
When an employee in Pennsylvania files a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the employer has a legal obligation not to retaliate against the employee. A federal trial judge overseeing a case that involved a worker at a nuclear power station has agreed that the person suffered from retaliation after the employer informed other workers about the EEOC investigation.
People with disabilities in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country may find it difficult to land a job. While the Americans with Disabilities Act requires qualified employees who have disabilities to be provided reasonable accommodations, it is contingent on the condition that it does not impose a significant hardship for the employer.
A federal judge in Pennsylvania made a ruling in a workplace discrimination case on May 18 that is being hailed as a landmark decision by gay rights advocacy groups and prominent figures in the LGBT community. The judge ruled that gender dysmorphia is a covered condition under the Americans with Disabilities act even though gender identity is not. The director of the Transgender Rights Project referred to the ruling as a huge step forward for the transgender community.
Some Pennsylvania employees who have had cancer might still be facing discrimination in the workplace according to a study that appeared in the "Journal of Oncology Practice." While a 2009 amendment to the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act was designed to protect employees with well-managed disabilities or those in remission who still also faced substantial limitations, the study found this was not always the case.
Most Pennsylvania workers would expect to be fired if they were caught stealing from their employers, but they may think that they deserve some leniency if they were diabetic and the item involved was a can of soda or a candy bar used to stave off a hypoglycemic attack. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission advocates on behalf of workers who have been denied rights guaranteed by federal law, and in 2016 it successfully sued a national retail chain that fired a diabetic cashier after she suffered a hypoglycemic attack while on duty and took a small bottle of juice to restore her blood sugar levels.
Employers may face severe penalties for violating the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a 2015 lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission indicates that they could also face claims of retaliation if they reveal the details of a worker's condition or claim. The legal action in question was initiated by the EEOC against a Pennsylvania-based construction and engineering firm.
In a previous post, we began discussing how those employers who engage in highly questionable or even discriminatory conduct do so at their own peril given that there are federal discrimination laws expressly empowering victimized job applicants and employees to seek legal redress.