How to Prove Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

By: Gregg Zeff
On: July 31, 2023

Wheelchair in the office

Although we live in a society that works to prevent discrimination in the workplace, disability discrimination is still prevalent today and should be addressed. Individuals considered to have a disability are those who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, such as standing, walking, hearing, seeing, learning, or speaking. Disability discrimination happens when an employer or co-worker treats such individuals unfairly because of their disability. If you believe you’re experiencing discrimination because of your disability, you have rights that protect you.

How Does The ADA Protect Against Disability Discrimination at Work?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from treating disabled workers unfavorably based on their disability. This civil rights law functions to protect American workers who work part-time or full-time for an employer with 15 or more employees. In addition, the law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified applicants or employees with disabilities. If employers fail to adhere to the law, an employee can take legal action against them for disability discrimination.

How Common Is Disability Discrimination In The Workplace?

Whether it’s subtle or obvious, workplace discrimination is still frequently happens. In fact, disabled workers have historically faced high levels of discrimination in the workplace. In 2019, there were 24,238 disability discrimination claims resolved by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, although the employment rate of disabled American adults was a relatively low 17.9%. These statistics illustrate that you’re not alone, and there are legal experts who specialize in disability discrimination to help you take a stand.

What Are Examples Of Disability Discrimination In The Workplace?

There are many forms of disability discrimination that can transpire in the workplace. Being aware of these examples can provide clarity on whether or not you’re experiencing unfair treatment based on your disability.

  • When the application or interview process isn’t equitable to all candidates
  • When inappropriate comments are made about your disability
  • If you’re denied a reasonable accommodation that didn’t cause undue hardship to the business
  • When unwarranted employment reviews are made
  • When a promotion/raise is granted to another employee who was less experienced than you.

Blind person walking to work

What Are The Elements Necessary To Prove Disability Discrimination?

If you believe you are experiencing any of the above, there are several steps you can take to prove disability discrimination did occur in court. First, verify that you are disabled or live with an illness through the state you live in. Depending on the state, there may be some issues that the state does not recognize as a disability. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t file a claim, because there are other ways you can prove disability discrimination.

The best way to prove disability discrimination is to keep a detailed record of what transpires for each event that occurs. Jot down notes every time you experience or witness someone experiencing discrimination in the workplace. Be sure to include the time and place the event occurred, along with the names of any individuals who were present during the interaction. If there’s also proof of discrimination through email or other electronic interactions, it’s best to save those as well. Maintaining a detailed and thorough paper trail, along with a list of witnesses, can help significantly in proving your case.

When Should You Seek Legal Representation For Disability Discrimination?

You should seek legal representation as soon as you’ve experienced disability discrimination in the workplace. Having an employment discrimination lawyer by your side is very useful and relieves you of having to prove your case and knowing all of the nuances of employment discrimination law. When seeking representation, be sure to share any evidence that could make your case with the employment discrimination lawyer. The more organized you are when presenting your case, the easier it is for your lawyer to evaluate and advise you on your legal options. These factors will ensure that you won’t be taken advantage of during settlement negotiations and will ultimately help you get the best settlement for your employment discrimination case.

Call The Disability Discrimination Lawyers At Zeff  To Discuss Your Evidence

If you feel your ADA rights may have been violated anywhere in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, or if you would like to ask about your rights under the ADA, contact the Zeff Law Firm immediately to discuss your case with our disability discrimination lawyers and defend your legal rights.

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