Individuals with disabilities, whether physical or mental disabilities, know that discrimination because of their disability is a possibility. Although laws protect individuals against discrimination in the workplace, they may still worry that an employer will deny them reasonable accommodations or otherwise violate the law.
For the Americans with Disabilities Act to apply to a person, the individual must have a physical or mental disability that causes significant limitations. Title I of the ADA addresses employment issues regarding individuals with disabilities and states that employers cannot discriminate against a disabled individual in the following areas:
- During the process of applying for an employment position
- When hiring or firing workers
- When it comes to providing compensation
- During job training
- When promoting workers
State and local laws may also provide protection, particularly to employees who work for employers with too few employees to be covered by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Employers are also required under the law to provide reasonable accommodation to workers with disabilities. However, there is an exception. Employers do not have to provide the accommodation if it causes an unnecessary hardship for the company, including an excessive financial burden for the company. In some cases, it may not be clear whether an employer denied an accommodation request for a valid reason, so it is wise to look more closely at the justifications.
In the event that a worker in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area believes that an employer unjustly denied reasonable accommodations or discriminated against him or her because of a disability, there may be a basis to consider legal action. If evidence shows that the disabilities laws were violated, the employer could be held accountable for those violations.