In Kentucky, people are protected against discrimination and harassment on the basis of actual or perceived disability. The attorneys at Abney & McCarty, PLLC have represented numerous disabled people in achieving access and/or compensation when they have been treated unlawfully.
Disability discrimination in the workplace is illegal. Disability discrimination involves unfair treatment in the workplace on the basis of disability or a perceived disability. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Kentucky Civil Rights Act requires that employers covered by the law provide reasonable accommodations to known physical or mental limitations of qualified employees. This law applies whether the employee works part-time or full-time.
Reasonable accommodations can include modifications to the work environment or to the way the job is customarily done, to help a disabled employee perform the duties of the job. Examples of reasonable accommodation can include modifying the employee’s work schedule, making facilities accessible to the disabled (e.g. making ramps), modifying tests and training materials, and modifying or buying new equipment.
Some examples of disability discrimination in the workplace might include:
- Statements such as “He’s not capable of performing these job duties,” or “She’s unqualified for this job”
- Derogatory comments about an employee’s disability, e.g. “retarded”
- Refusing an employee’s request for time off to get medical treatment for a disability; terminating the employee instead
- Refusing to make changes to make the facility accessible to the disabled
Employers cannot discriminate against current or potential employees on the basis of a disability. They may not ask as part of a pre-employment questionnaire if you are disabled. An employer who has offered you a position may then inquire if you require any accommodations.
An employer may decline to offer you a job or remove you from a job if your disability creates a legitimate health risk to others. For example, it has been considered lawful to preclude epileptics who experience seizures from operating buses, trains, etc., because of legitimate health risks. These risks, however, must be legitimate and not merely speculative.
If you have experienced disability discrimination in the workplace, contact the attorneys at Abney & McCarty, PLLC online or call (502) 459-4108 to schedule a free consultation.