Employees have the right to do their jobs in an environment that is free from harassment and other types of mistreatment. Unfortunately, some employees in the Washington, D.C., metro area do experience problematic behaviors in the workplace that could be discrimination or harassment. Some employees, such as those who are hearing impaired, could be particularly vulnerable to discriminatory behaviors. When this occurs in the workplace, victims do not have to remain silent.
If you believe that you are the victim of workplace discrimination because you are hearing impaired or deaf, you can take action to address what you experienced. You may believe that you have no options, but in reality, you could have grounds to seek to enforce your legal rights. Discrimination in any form and for any reason is unacceptable, and it is possible to take steps to protect your interests and seek justice.
Your rights as someone with hearing disabilities
Hearing disabled individuals can be capable and effective employees, and they have a right to fair treatment, equal opportunities and reasonable accommodations so that they can do their jobs. The Americans with Disabilities Act, and similar state and local laws, apply to many individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired, and it may be beneficial to learn more about the issues one could face in the workplace. If you believe that you are experiencing illegal and inappropriate treatment in the workplace, it is important for you to document everything. This will be critical in the event you file a civil claim.
Even if you need some support and accommodations, that does not mean that you are unable to do your job well. An example of a reasonable accommodation that your employer may provide is an interpreter during important meetings.
What to do if you are a victim
As a disabled employee, you could face discrimination at any stage of the employment process, from the interview stage and beyond. If you suffer from employment discrimination because of your hearing disability, you will benefit from seeking guidance regarding the legal options available to you. You may have grounds to file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These cases are time-sensitive, and there is benefit in taking prompt action to pursue the best possible outcome to your situation.