Disability Discrimination during the Hiring Process
Though some employers are reluctant to hire perfectly qualified workers who happen to have disabilities, it is illegal at the state and federal levels to make hiring decisions based on a candidate’s disability status. Keep in mind that “pregnancy” is considered a disability for purposes of classifying disability.
You are under no obligation to disclose a disability, but some physical disabilities are obvious. If an interviewer suspects you may have a disability, they could directly ask inappropriate questions or rely on subtler lines of questioning that are designed to confirm the existence of a disability.
You may be the victim of disability discrimination if a hiring manager asks any of these questions:
- Do you have a disability?
- Will you require any reasonable accommodations?
- Do you receive any government benefits?
- Do you currently take any medications?
- Have you ever received treatment for a mental health condition?
The interviewer should exclusively evaluate your qualifications and whether you are a good fit for the position. A hiring manager does have the right to ask whether you will be able to perform certain job responsibilities, particularly if you have an apparent physical disability.
Watch out for situations where a job description includes arbitrary responsibilities that seem designed to exclude people with disabilities. An office job should not generally require a candidate to be able to lift thirty pounds, for example.
If you believe you may have been subject to disability discrimination during a hiring process but are not sure whether you have a claim, we can help. Our Washington, D.C. disability discrimination attorney can evaluate what happened and walk you through your legal options.
Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
Your employer cannot treat you differently because you have a physical or mental disability. This means they cannot pay you less, deny you promotions, give you unfavorable assignments, or otherwise exclude or mistreat you because of your disability status. The law also protects you from hostile work environments, so you do not have to put up with situations where your boss or peers make derogatory comments about your disability.
If you have a disability, you have the right to request reasonable accommodations. A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment made by your employer that allows you to better perform your job responsibilities. By law, employers must consider all reasonable accommodation requests and cannot deny them outright.
Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Remote work
- More frequent breaks
- Installation of ramps or other accessibility improvements
- Ergonomic workstations
- Modifications to work processes
An employer can only deny a reasonable accommodation request if it would create an “undue hardship,” meaning it is too expensive or difficult to implement. Some employers will not negotiate in good faith and claim perfectly achievable accommodations constitute undue hardships.
Experienced Disability Discrimination? Call Now.
You do not have to accept any form of disability discrimination. Our team at Pitre & Associates, LLC knows how to effectively approach these cases and will pursue the compensation you deserve. Our Washington, D.C. disability discrimination lawyer can help you file a claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your territory’s equivalent enforcement agency.
You only have a limited amount of time to file a disability discrimination claim, so call (202) 759-6544 or contact us online today. Flexible payment options are available.
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