Although discussing disabilities in the work environment is not easy, employees and employers in Minnesota and elsewhere should understand how disabilities could impact employees. This means not only understanding how a disability could directly limit an employee, but also understanding how certain situations could cause the employee to endure employment discrimination.
While the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, defines disabilities and what entails mistreatment, unequal treatment or discrimination, this does not always mean employer and employees know how address these situations. The best way to address disability discrimination in the workplace is understand what it looks like. Employment discrimination could occur in both the hiring phase and while an individual is an employee. If an individual is a qualified applicant, but believes that he or she was not hired because of a disability, this could be cause for a "failure to hire" claim.
When a disabled employee is hired, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for that employee. Whether that means making adjustments to the work task, work schedule, break times or even physical changes to the environment, if an employer fails to make these accommodations, this could be cause for a disability discrimination claim.
Lastly, if an employee's disability is used against them, this could be cause for a claim. This could occur when an employee is mistreated or harassed because of their disability. Also, if a disabled employee is terminated because of the disability, this could be cause for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Minnesota residents who believe they have been a victim of disability discrimination in the workplace might have a cause of action. It might be a good idea to understand the legal rights and options in this type of situation.
Source: Civilrights.findlaw.com, "Disability Discrimination Basics," accessed Nov. 2, 2015