The Americans with Disabilities Act protects disabled persons from being discriminated against in the workplace. Disability discrimination can happen to any person who is disabled, has a history of disability (such as cancer that is in remission), has a mental deficiency, or who is regarded as having a disability even if he or she does not. It is considered discrimination when any employer or other entity covered by the act treats a qualified applicant or employee unfavorably because he or she has a disability. The law requires employers to accommodate a disabled worker or job applicant as long as the accommodation is reasonable and does not create too great a burden on the employer.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against by a potential, current, or past employer because of one of the reasons mentioned above, you may be entitled to compensation. At the Bayless Law Firm, attorney Kay Bayless applies her years of experience in West Virginia labor and employment law to help workers who have been discriminated against receive compensation that may be available to them. Contact Kay Bayless today to find out if you are being unfairly denied work due to discrimination.
Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
Discrimination can come in many forms. It can occur when a employer chooses not to hire a disabled person, fires them because they are disabled, passes them up for a promotion, lays them off, fails to pay them equally or does not give them the same benefits or bonuses that a non-disabled person would be given.
It is also illegal to harass or allow harassment of a disabled person because of their disability in the workplace. The harassment can come from anyone in the workplace: co-workers, supervisors, even customers or clients. Harassment is more than just teasing or isolated incidents that are not serious. Harassment becomes illegal when the workplace becomes extremely uncomfortable for the employee (it is a hostile and offensive environment) or causes the victim to be fired, demoted, or subject to any other decision that affects the victim’s job.
Definition of Disability
Simply having a medical condition does not alone make you a disabled person. In order to be protected under the anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, you must be qualified for the job and have a disability in the eyes of the law. There are three ways to show you have a disability:
- Physical or mental impairment that is a substantial limitation on a major life activity
- A history of disability
- Being perceived as having such a disability that is serious and long lasting (more than 6 months).
Disability & Medical Exams
The law protects job applicants who are disabled from improper medical questions and exams. There are strict limits on what can be asked of a job applicant in the application stage and after a job offer has been made. An employer is not allowed to ask medical questions or require a job applicant to identify a disability or take a medical exam before they make a job offer. However, an employer can ask if a person is able to perform the job’s duties.
Once the job offer has been made, the employer may ask all applicants certain medical questions or ask them to pass a medical exam. However, they must ask all job applicants the same questions and require them to take the same exam. They cannot ask only those applicants who have a disability to perform an exam and answer questions.
Get Help Today From an Experienced West Virginia Attorney
Have you been discriminated against or harassed in the workplace? If you believe you have been treated unfairly because of a disability, contact the Bayless Law Firm for a free consultation. Contact attorney Kay Bayless online or call (800) 359-2356 to learn about your options to fight workplace disability discrimination.