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What to Do With an Employer Committing Disability Discrimination

Last updated: March 25, 2024

We are expected to be thankful for the jobs that put food on our tables, but it’s not always a blessing to emotionally, economically, and socially abused workers. Not all employment opportunities work to the advantage of workers. If you're unfortunate enough to be working for a company that fails to do even the bare minimum in protecting your rights as a disabled person, then you'll have to step up and speak up!

While quitting is always an option, abusive practices must be uncovered to give justice to workers currently or formerly employed. These are graver when they are meant to disadvantage injured or disabled employees. If you've been the victim of disability discrimination in your workplace, it's high time you get the justice you deserve. Here's a guide to help you through the process:

1. Identify the signs of a toxic corporate leadership

Abusive employment practices have no place in the modern workplace since years of gains by the labor movement have introduced strict regulations and penalties. Then again, you can't expect every company to follow such guidelines for treating disabled employees equally. Some employers may resort to passive-aggressive approaches, such as assigning complex tasks that force employees to work overtime or failing to pay workers comp.

Micromanagement is also a clear sign that your workplace isn't supportive of what you do along with a clear failure to install ergonomic and disabled-friendly facilities. Once you have identified these clear red flags, you can then talk to co-workers who share the same sentiments. 

2. Find allies and confirm your suspicions

You wouldn't want to confront abusive practices on your own, so it's important to reach out to disabled co-workers who may have observed these themselves. Not only does this give you a sense of relief knowing that you're the only victim, but it can also help substantiate your claims, especially if your employer's actions run counter to labor standards and are motivated by prejudice. This will help pave the way for an effective legal claim.

3. Meet with your HR or upper management rep

Before taking any legal action, you must point out abusive actions and come up with a settlement. Often, this would be a less costly and less stressful approach compared to filing a lawsuit, granting your employer is reasonable enough to address your claims. Talk with your HR manager and see if you could schedule a company town hall meeting where you can discuss these issues and resolve them without taking the matter to court.

4. Stand your legal ground

If your employer ignores the problem altogether and resorts to retaliatory actions such as framing you for a crime you did not commit and triggering a pre-file investigation against you, then you will need to get an attorney to help you file your complaint and get compensated based on the complexity and gravity of the case. If you have to, you can also gather other employees who have had similar complaints and file a class-action lawsuit, especially if the complaint covers discriminatory practices against disabled individuals. 


There is dignity in work, but if your employer makes you feel as though you have no value as a disabled individual, then don't give them a free pass to trample on your rights. Use the guide above and get the justice you and your co-workers deserve!

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