Treating workers unfairly because of a disability violates Michigan and federal discrimination laws. Unfortunately, it still happens.
Knowing what this kind of misconduct looks like can help employees identify it, report it and put a stop to it.
Types of discrimination based on disability
There are several ways employers discriminate against workers with an actual or perceived disability. Some are obvious and overt; others are not. Some of the more common examples of this type of misconduct could include:
- Refusing to hire someone because of their disability
- Denying reasonable accommodations for a worker
- Overlooking someone with a disability when promoting workers
- Harassing the person because of their disability
- Requesting an improper medical inquiry
- Retaliating against the worker for filing a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Paying someone less than others in the same position because of a disability
When employers engage in or allow these actions, they violate workers’ rights.
Again, discrimination against someone based on actual or perceived disabilities is illegal, and it can trigger serious consequences for perpetrators.
In one recent case, a Michigan organization settled a legal dispute and will pay more than $67,500 for discriminating against an employee based on his disability.
What you can do if you suspect discrimination
If you feel that someone has discriminated against you because of a real or assumed condition, you can take steps to protect yourself, your rights and your livelihood.
Retaining documentation will be crucial, as it can link adverse treatment or actions and a disability. As such, it can be wise to keep:
- Performance reviews
- Voicemails or emails mentioning or alluding to a disability
- Witness statements
- Records of any complaint or requests you filed
This information can support allegations that an employer mistreated workers with disabilities or allowed misconduct to occur without consequence.
Further, victims of discrimination could pursue legal and financial remedies to correct misconduct and compensate wronged workers.