Disabilities & Discrimination

One in five adults in the United States have some sort of disability.  The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) states one of the most common types of functional disability is a limitation of mobility. One in eight adults reported mobility limitation as having serious difficulties walking or climbing stairs, followed by troubles involving thinking, memory, independent living, vision, and self-care.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

To protect our citizens, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) exists to ensure access to buildings, transportation, and employment. To be protected under the ADA, a person must have a disability defined by the law. A person can show he or she has a disability by one of three standards. A person may be disabled if they have a physical or mental condition that hinders and limits major life activities such as walking, talking, seeing, hearing, or learning, have a history of a disability such as cancer that is in remission, or believed to have a physical or mental impairment.

MedStart Harbor Hospital Allegations

In recent news, the U.S. Equal Opportunities Commission (EEOC) collected more than $150,000 following the allegations of federal disability discrimination. The EEOC found MedStar Harbor Hospital fired a respiratory therapist because of his disability. The fired employee had a kidney transplant, which required him to receive medications that weakened his immune system. The company fired the employee when he asked for specific work space accommodations to provide a safer environment due to his compromised immune system.

Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination is described as when an employer or other body that is covered under the ADA or Rehabilitation Act treats a disabled employee or job candidate unfavorably because of their disability status.  An employer is required by law to provide reasonable accommodations to those with a disability.  If the employer fails to do so, it could face undue hardship.

Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable Accommodation is any change or adjustment to the job or work environment that allows a disabled applicant or employee to perform the responsibilities of the position. This action creates benefits and privileges equal to employees without disabilities. One example would be to provide and modify equipment and/or devices in the workplace to be accessible and used by those with disabilities.

If you think you are being discriminated against, you may want to contact the U.S. EEOC field offices located in cities across the United States to file a charge of discrimination. This must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. If you have been discriminated against, you may be entitled to the following:

  • countermeasure to place you in the position you would be in if discrimination never occurred
  • hiring, promotion, reinstatement, back pay, reasonable accommodation, reassignment
  • attorney fees

Read more details on the Americans with Disabilities Act here:

https://www.eeoc.gov/facts/ada18.html

https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm

Visit Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC):

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0730-us-disability.html

More information – Baltimore hospital settles allegations of disability discrimination:

http://legalnewsline.com/stories/511109763-baltimore-hospital-settles-allegations-of-disability-discrimination-with-180-000-payment