7 Ways to Recognize Discrimination in the Workplace

Apr 07, 2011
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Discrimination still happens in the workplace. People with disabilities have struggled with obtaining full equality, and fair treatment. The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) was passed not only just to provide equal access, but also to “level the playing field” for people with disabilities – and this includes the workplace.

Employment discrimination can happen to anyone and can be due to a myriad of reasons, such as dealing with race, nationality, age, disability, gender and many other reasons. It is very difficult to identify employment discrimination. Disability discrimination is the process of making decisions on hiring, promoting, training and terminating an employee due to a physical or mental disability.

Here are some identifiers that can be noted as indicators of the fact that “there’s discrimination behind these questions or these actions.”

1. Identifying the negative or adverse actions of the employer on you or other employees with or without disabilities, while being sure that those actions do not treat all employees the same, regarding issues like hiring, treatment at work, disciplinary actions, reduction in pay or benefits and so on. In other words, you or an associate may be being treated differently because of your disability.

2. Making sure that the employer knows up front about you or your associate’s disability.

3. Reviewing if you are able (or unable) to perform the essential job duties with or without a reasonable accommodation.

4. Confirming that the adverse actions taken by your employer are because of your mental or physical disability.

5. Making sure whether the negative or adverse action of the employer against you or your associates caused any harm to you or your associate and then, if it did, be able to prove that fact to an investigator.

6. Making a record of how often you hear offensive remarks, while being as specific as you can and being backed up, if possible, by co-workers at your workplace about your or your associate’s disability by the employer or their spokesperson.

7. Once you are sure about these things, and you are reasonably confident that you can confirm the discrimination that you or your associates are having to deal with because of your disability, you can file a case against the responsible individual or the employer — as per the ADA regulations — by calling the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.


Author: Jenny Carlton