Earlier this month, federal officials revealed that they have received a record number of claims dealing with workplace disability-based discrimination.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), charges of workplace bias, based on disability, hit an all-time high for the second year in a row. In 2016, there were nearly 30,000 charges connected to disability discrimination on the job. Of these, the EEOC said roughly 5,700 were resolved in favor of the individual filing the complaint.
The EEOC also revealed that it recorded an uptick in charges across the board, covering the 10 types of discrimination that the agency is tasked with investigating.
In 2016, the EEOC received approximately 91,500 charges of workplace-based discrimination and retaliation overall. Roughly a third of those complaints cited disability.
There is a common misconception that disabled individuals do not intend to work, or that those living with a disability are not as valuable in the workplace as other able-bodied individuals.
However, statistics indicate that, in the state of California, more than 33 percent of disabled individuals are employed, with another 9.5 percent currently seeking gainful employment. These people want to be employed and want to have a positive impact on the U.S. economy.
Unfortunately, many disabled individuals give up searching for work because they feel that they are being discriminated against when interviewing for a position, or when working on the job. Employees or prospective employed with a medical condition are also often hesitant to ask for reasonable accommodations, such as medical leave, intermittent leave when the medical condition flares up or worsens, telecommuting, or other forms of modified duty.
Current federal law and California law prohibit employment discrimination based on disability. These guidelines specifically address “qualified individuals with disabilities” – a term that extends to both applicants for employment and hired employees. A disabled person may be considered “qualified” if they meet the skill, experience and education requirements, in addition to other qualifications, necessary for an employment position.
However, the law also requires employers to engage in an “interactive process” with disabled employees. This involves taking the time to discuss the scope of work with the disabled individual and determining any and all job limitations. Once this is established, the employer can help identify potential accommodations.
It is critical that communication is established directly between the employer and employee, to help keep the flow of essential information and ensure that any and all appropriate accommodations are considered.
If you or someone you know has dealt with workplace discrimination, including cases based on a disability, then it is in your best interest to seek the guidance of a qualified employment attorney as soon as possible.
That’s where the Los Angeles employment attorneys at Azadian Law Group, PC can help. Our team of highly-skilled legal employment lawyers exclusively represents executives and employees dealing with all types of discrimination on the job, including cases where the discrimination targets an individual’s disability, the employee’s request for accommodations, or the employee taking medical leave. We can work closely with you to assess the severity of discrimination and recommend a legal strategy that preserves your rights in the workplace. No matter what the situation is surrounding your workplace discrimination, our compassionate attorneys are committed to serving as your legal advocate.
Let’s work together to find a beneficial legal solution to your discrimination claim. For a complimentary preliminary consultation with an employment lawyer, contact the team at Azadian Law Group, PC today by calling 213-229-9031.