Disability Discrimination: 4 Ways it Can Manifest in the Workplace

While very few companies today would intentionally violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is still a real problem that millions of people have to face every day. We recently wrote a blog about five of the most common violations of the ADA to illustrate how this is still such a serious problem. One of the best things a business can do to ensure they remain in compliance is work to ensure they aren’t unintentionally discriminating against those with disabilities. The following are some common examples of what disability discrimination can look like in the workplace (or anywhere), even when it isn’t done on purpose.
When a company, or even groups of employees, are insensitive toward those with disabilities, it can be an example of discrimination. This can include making fun of the person with disabilities, playing pranks on them, or generally treating them worse than others on the team. In many cases, people will think they are just joking around, but it can be a very sensitive matter. Managers and HR representatives need to take extra care to ensure that everyone is being sensitive to the disabilities of those within the company.
Making Assumptions
Making assumptions about people with disabilities is another unintentional type of discrimination. Just because someone is in a wheelchair, for example, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t want to join the after-work basketball league. Rather than assuming that this is the case, it is best to ask the individual, and make an effort to include them in all aspects of the team.
Failing to Provide Reasonable Accommodations
Those with disabilities can often perform all the same tasks as those without the disabilities. They may just need some minor accommodations in order to get the work done. For example, many people who are legally blind can actually work efficiently at a computer as long as they have software that will magnify the screen, or read the pages to them. These are simple to install, and very affordable, which makes them a very reasonable accommodation that any employer should be happy to provide.
Focusing Only on the Disability  
It can be all to easy for managers and co-workers alike to focus exclusively on the disability of another team member, and fail to see all the benefits they have to bring to the team. This can push the individual with the disability to the outside, and keep them from ever fitting in with the group. While disabilities can’t be ignored, they should never been looked at as more than they actually are.
Protect Yourself from Workplace Disability Discrimination
Talking with an experienced attorney about potential examples of disability discrimination in the workplace can help to ensure your business is treating people properly. Contact Carla D. Aikens to schedule a consultation and discuss your business today.

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