Disability Discrimination – When You Can Do Your Job, But Your Employer Doesn't Think You Can

Do you feel as though you are treated unfairly in the workplace on the basis of your disability or perceived disability?  The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act protect people with disabilities, or people who are seen by their employer as being disabled, from employment discrimination.  The attorneys at Abney & McCarty are experienced in dealing with employment discrimination and disability discrimination.  We will work to help you achieve fairness in the workplace and reasonable accommodations at work, making your life easier.

 

What might disability discrimination in the workplace look like?

Disability discrimination can take a variety of forms, ranging from initial hiring decisions to determining one’s promotion or termination.  The Kentucky Civil Rights Act prohibits disability discrimination in all employment contexts if the employer has 15 or more employees.  Employers covered by either Act must provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees.  Failure to do so would constitute unlawful disability discrimination.

 

What disabilities qualify for protection?

The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act prohibit workplace discrimination against an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

The most common types of disabilities protected under the statutes include back/spinal injuries, psychiatric impairments, neurological impairments, extremity impairments, heart impairments, substance abuse (excluding current users of illicit drugs), Diabetes, hearing impairments and vision impairments.

Additionally, if your employer perceives you to be disabled, and that perception of you is a substantial motivating factor that leads your employer to make decisions about your employment that are adverse to you, you are also protected by the civil rights statutes.

 

If I have a protected disability, what are my rights as an employee?

Whether you are a full-time or part-time employee, both the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Kentucky Civil Rights Act require eligible employers to provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations that do not pose an undue hardship to the employer.  You must make you employer aware of your disability in order to qualify for protection from discrimination based on your disability.

 

What accommodations are considered reasonable?

An accommodation is considered reasonable if it helps the employee perform his or her employment obligations and does not impose an undue burden on your employer.  Depending on the type of disability, a reasonable accommodation may include adjusting the work environment or the manner in which a task is customarily done.  Modification of the employee’s work schedule, installation of handicap-accessible facilities, flexible tests and training materials, and or the purchase new equipment designed to minimalize the effects of your disability may qualify as reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.

If you feel as though you are being discriminated against in the workplace on the basis of your disability, contact us today.