Having a disability is difficult because it can significantly affect your quality of life to the extent it might affect your chances of employment. Some employers can intimidate you into quitting by refusing to hire you, claiming you are not fit for the job even if you are qualified, and the job doesn’t restrain disabled workers.
As per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), disability refers to mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of a person, a record of impairment or being referred to as having an impairment.
Fortunately, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Employment Law prohibit discrimination against a person with a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers with more than 15 employees to refrain from discriminating against applicants and employees with disabilities.
In this case, the employer should provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and qualified disabled employees to help them perform their duties. For the accommodations to be considered valid, they should not create an undue hardship to the company or threaten the other staff and the workplace’s safety.
You can file a case against a current or previous employer who subjects you to disability discrimination. However, filing such a lawsuit is tedious and requires a reputable employment attorney for a successful lawsuit. You must prove that someone has discriminated against you to successfully file and win a discrimination case.
Here are some steps to follow when trying to prove you have been discriminated against in your workplace:
Prove You Have a Documented Disability
Here are some of the ways to prove you have a documented physical disability;
- You can show that you are physically impaired. For instance, you can show that you are blind, deaf, or missing a hand.
- You can also show impairment records such as medical records.
- Prove that other people regard you as having a disability.
Prove That You Were Discriminated Against During Your Application
In most disability discrimination cases, disability discrimination lawyers say the applicants were discriminated against during interviews. Persons with physical disabilities are the most likely to face this kind of discrimination.
Although it is against federal and state laws to ask applicants for medical records, individuals with physical disabilities are vulnerable in most scenarios. Suppose you feel discriminated against during the application or interview due to your disability.
Prove Disability Discrimination at Work
Unfortunately, an employee might develop a disability when already in employment. For example, one can be involved in a car accident and loses a leg, hand, or sight.
As a result, an employer may feel that the many days off work when going for checkups and limitations of the disability may affect their business. Some colleagues may also start harassing and making unnecessary statements about your disability, translating to discrimination.
Prove Lack of Reasonable Accommodation
According to ADA laws, state and federal employees with disabilities can request their employers to provide reasonable accommodations to perform their duties easily.
The term ‘reasonable’ means that they should not cause the employer to incur an unnecessary cost that can hurt the business to retain the employee with a disability. They should also not inconvenience them or be a threat to the safety of other employees.
For example, it is reasonable for the employer to make existing facilities accessible, like giving a person with a walking disability parking space close to the office entrance. Also, they can provide an office on the ground floor so that he does not have to climb stairs every morning or modify equipment so they can easily perform essential functions. They can also show empathy by changing work schedules.
Such an employee can request these accommodations, and if denied, they can file a lawsuit against their employer. If the accommodations were unreasonable, the employer can ask the court to dismiss the case because the accommodations, if provided, would have caused his undue business hardship.
Prove That You Were Subjected to Adverse Employment Action Due to Your Disability
The employer can retaliate after requesting accommodations or filing a lawsuit against the company for not providing reasonable accommodations by subjecting the employee to adverse employment action. Even worse, the employer can decide to fire, demote, harass, reduce working hours, or subject the disabled employee to hostile working conditions.
How To Get Evidence To Prove That I Was Discriminated Against Because of My Disability
We all know that the success of any lawsuit is determined by credible evidence. In this case, disability discrimination cases are not different, and you will be required to produce evidence. It would be helpful if you documented every discriminating incident that happens.
For example, it would be wise to write to the management officially through their email when requesting accommodations. If the employer refuses, you will have evidence to prove it. Also, you should provide any text messages or emails sent to you by the employers that can be termed discriminatory as evidence.
When colleagues discriminate against you due to your disability, you should report them by writing to the management officially. This way, you will have evidence to show if the administration fails to protect you from them.
You should also record the name of the colleague and the verbal statements they used because a judge will need them to determine if they were discriminating against you because of your disability. You can also ask your fellow employees to back up your case.
In addition, you can get evidence through a process called discovery after filing a disability discrimination case in court. During the discovery process, you can ask the employer to produce any document or evidence that can support your claim. Note that your employer is compelled by state and federal law to produce evidence.
Contact A Disability Discrimination Lawyer Today
Hiring a reputable disability discrimination lawyer with experience in disability discrimination is the smartest thing to do if you believe you are a victim of disability discrimination.
J.P. Ward and Associates can help you successfully handle your case if you believe you’ve been discriminated against in your place of work because of your disability. We have a team of experienced employment lawyers ready to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Reach out to our law firm today at (412) 426-4878 to know more about how we can help you make a successful claim.