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The increase in workplace disability discrimination claims

New York workers concerned about discrimination in the workplace should be aware of the data that has been released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to the EEOC, workplace discrimination claims in 2016 increased, and those related to disability seem to be steadily rising. Over 30 percent of the charges in 2016 pertained to disability discrimination, even though disabled individuals comprise only about 20 percent of the national population and a fraction of the workforce.

Only 17.5 percent of disabled persons had jobs in 2015. The low number can be attributed to the fact that some disabled individuals are unable to work or have no interest in working while others have to remain unemployed in order to retain their benefits. Also, other disabled people may want to work but are unable to find employment. Those who are employed are more likely to have positions that pay low wages, particularly part-time or temporary jobs that may not provide stability or benefits.

Employment discrimination begins before the interview process according to many disabled people who suspect that their disability may be a factor in their inability to get interviewed or hired. In the workplace, disabled people may be victims of retaliation, refusals of accommodations, harassment, denied promotions and more. Employers and managers may discriminate against disabled employees for a variety of reasons, including the perception that they are not as capable as their non-disabled workers, doubts about their intelligence and the belief that their hiring is an act of charity instead of a business decision.

Individuals who have been subjected to employment discrimination should consult with an employment law attorney. The attorney may file a claim with the appropriate state or federal agency for clients who have been victims of discrimination based on their race, gender or any other protected characteristic.

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