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How disability discrimination often manifests in the workplace

Someone’s ability to perform their job depends on their experience and education, as well as their physical capabilities. Even those who may face health-related physical challenges can often perform demanding jobs with the right support. There are many people who have certain physical limitations who can still achieve professional success even in very challenging careers. These individuals benefit from certain protections under federal law that help them compete in the modern job market. As a result, employers are generally prohibited from considering someone’s medical conditions when deciding who to hire, fire or promote.

So long as someone can perform their job with reasonable accommodations from their employer, their medical conditions should not influence determinations about their employment. Unfortunately, some employers inappropriately consider someone’s medical condition when making crucial employment decisions. Disability discrimination can manifest in a number of ways, and one of the most common relates to the core of modern disability protection policy.

Companies might refuse to reasonably accommodate a worker

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was a groundbreaking piece of legislation that continues to set the standard for the treatment of those with disabling medical conditions. The law establishes clear protections for individuals with disabling medical conditions, including the right to request necessary workplace accommodations.

Provided that someone has medical documentation affirming their condition and their need for certain types of support, a company should provide them with those accommodations. Reasonable accommodations might range from allowing someone to do their work from home to making a workspace more accessible for someone in a wheelchair.

Companies generally have to provide accommodations unless they can prove that doing so would impose an undue hardship on the business. The overt refusal to accommodate a worker by providing assistive technology or other forms of support that would allow them to do a job is perhaps the most common source of disability discrimination claims in the United States.

Some companies refuse to change the job responsibilities and work environment of a current employee who develops a medical condition. Other companies might refuse to hire a worker because they would require accommodations to do a specific job. Thankfully, pursuing a disability discrimination lawsuit against a business can potentially lead to better support for workers with a disabling medical condition and improved company practices in the future.

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