eraser on disabilityAccording to federal officials working for the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, disability-based job bias has reached an all-time high. Compared to fiscal 2015, 28,073 complaints for disability discrimination were filed in the 2016 fiscal year — a nearly 4% increase in just 1 year. It was the second year in a row that the EEOC claims disability job bias broke a record. Overall upticks were recorded for all areas of workplace discrimination for which the commission investigates claims.

Of all the disability-based charges received, just 5,680 were resolved in favor of the injured party. Overall, $131 million were collected for individuals harmed by disability-based discrimination at work. Such charges of disability discrimination have been recorded by the EEOC since 1992. The agency also monitors charges of discrimination based on race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, pregnancy, retaliation, harassment, genetic information, and equal pay. A total of 91,503 charges of job-based discrimination were reported in 2016, nearly a third of which cited disability.

How are Disabled Workers Protected?

In the U.S., individuals with disabilities are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state laws from experiencing harassment at work. The ADA is a federal civil rights law that has been in place since 1990. Though it is nothing new, some employers may unknowingly or willfully disregard the law, in which case harmed employees retain the right to seek justice with the aid of a knowledgeable disability discrimination attorney.

Title I of the ADA establishes that individuals with disabilities should enjoy the same employment opportunities and benefits available to those without disabilities. It provides that employers with 15 or more employees must reasonably accommodate qualified applicants and employees who have a disability. A reasonable accommodation is any adjustment to the job or work environment that will enable the applicant or employee to fully participate in the application process or perform essential job functions.

In any event where these accommodations do not cause undue hardship to the employer, they are absolutely mandatory to ensure that those living with disability may become and continue to be employed. Title I of the ADA is enforced by the EEOC and disability discrimination lawyers.

If you believe that you have been treated differently at work, whether you have been withheld pay, or are receiving less pay, fewer to no opportunities for advancement, and other types of discrimination at work due to a disability, you may have a case against your employer. You may benefit from discussing your situation with a knowledgeable employment lawyer in Virginia Beach to explore your options. At Bertini Law, we understand the difficulties of taking legal action against your employer, which is why we guide and support you at every turn of the legal process. We also work with employers looking to strengthen their employment policies. Don’t hope that things will improve; take a step to stand up for your rights by calling (757) 222-9165. You may also contact us online.