When you have a disability, it can be tough to be taken seriously in the workplace, especially when you need specific accommodations. Unfortunately, many employers do not have much respect for their disabled employees, which results in them trying to get away with as much discrimination as they can. Consider the following ways that you can fight disability discrimination at work.
Stand Your Ground
There may be times when a coworker or a person higher up the ladder than you asks you whether you really need the accommodations that you have requested, even if they are apparent. In times like these, you need to remember that they are stepping over the line, and you are well within your right to defend yourself and your needs. Remind them that you have rights under the ADA or the Americans with Disabilities Act and that you are entitled to any accommodations that you need to do your job properly while meeting your needs. If they refuse to back down, or if the discrimination gets even worse, you might need to go to the next level.
Speak with Human Resources
Nobody likes having to go to human resources. However, they are there for a reason, and that reason is to make sure that everyone is being treated equitably in the workplace. If you are facing discrimination, and it will not stop no matter what you do, human resources should be the next place you go to. Make an appointment with your HR representative, and explain the situation. It is illegal to be discriminated against because of a disability, and your representative will have all sorts of different ways that the discrimination can be handled and stopped. However, though they are not allowed to, whoever you reported may seek retaliation, and that is when you need to bring in legal counsel.
Hire a Lawyer for Wrongful Termination
If you have been discriminated against, and you have already tried the previous two tactics, whoever had been discriminating against you might have retaliated and gotten you fired due to discriminating against you and your disability. If that is the case, what they have done is completely illegal, and you should file a wrongful termination lawsuit as quickly as possible. Fortunately, there are plenty of disability lawyers in Pittsburgh and elsewhere that can get you started on the track to ensure that your former employer does not do anything of the sort to anyone else. More employers are trying for various wrongful terminations than ones who are not, and unfortunately if none of the victims of wrongful termination say anything about it, they will continue to get away with it, and more people will suffer. While it might be frightening for you to do so, you need to get the word out about your previous employer and their actions so they are less likely to continue with such actions in the future.
If you are looking into legal help, you might also be worried about any documentation, such as an NDA, that you signed to try and smooth things over. However, you do not have to worry about violating such documentation if it is directly related to them discriminating against you. Such documentation is not legally binding and does not hold up in court, as such a measure is meant to silence you and encourage continued discriminatory behavior.
It may not seem like your voice matters much at first, but it does. Keep these suggestions in mind, so you know what to do if you ever find yourself at the receiving end of workplace discrimination due to your disability.
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