Opportunity for All: A Disability Attorney Fighting for Equal Rights
When it comes to upholding equal rights, few issues affect more people than disability discrimination. 56.7 million Americans have some form of disability, which is why Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni & Rivers works tirelessly to make sure that those with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else.
Detroit Area Disability Attorneys Who Protect Your Rights
Located in Royal Oak, Michigan, Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni & Rivers has successfully handled numerous disability cases and kept its clients on the job, found solutions to accommodate their workplace needs and won compensation for economic and emotional losses for those employees who have been terminated or not hired due to disability. We can help you in the same way.
What is Disability Discrimination?
Disability discrimination occurs when employers offer fewer opportunities to workers with disabilities. This can involve:
- Refusing to interview or hire those with disabilities
- Failing to promote those with disabilities or raise their pay appropriately given their accomplishments and skill levels
- Firing, laying off or otherwise discharging employees because of disabilities
- Not making the workplace accessible to those with disabilities
Legally, a disability is any mental or physical issue that limits major life activities. These include problems with your immune system, bowels, bladder, speech, eyesight, hearing and cognitive functions. It is illegal to discriminate against workers with any of these conditions, no matter how severe they are.
What is the ADA & How Does It Protect Me?
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, extends the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to American citizens who have physical and/or mental disabilities. It also requires employers to make accommodations for employees with disabilities so that they have the same opportunity to work. These accommodations may include adjusting the employee’s duties and schedule, installing wheelchair ramps and other accessibility equipment, or making provisions for interpreters.
The disability discrimination laws protect individuals with both physical and mental impairments. Employers are also prohibited from discriminating against employees or applicants for employment who have a history of disability, such as a cancer survivor or someone who is mistakenly believed to be disabled.
The ADA defines a disability as any “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” This could include disabilities which affect speech, hearing, vision, walking, breathing, learning and performing manual tasks. According to the law, major life activities covered also include major body functions, such as the immune system, digestive system, bowel and bladder and reproductive systems.
The ADA Prohibits Employers from Discriminating Against Disabled Workers in Any Type of Job Action, Such as:
- Interviewing and hiring
- Transfers and duty/location assignments
- Promotions and raises
- Firings and layoffs
- Failure to make the workplace physically accessible
When an employee does request a reasonable accommodation, the employer has a duty to interact with the worker to find a solution that is feasible for the employer and meets the needs of the employee. Accommodation can take many forms depending on the situation.
Possible Accommodations Might Be:
- Physical modifications to the workspace as a wheelchair ramps
- Adjustment of job duties
- Modification of work schedules
- Provisions for adaptive equipment or interpreters
- Reassignment to a vacant position
Failing or refusing to engage in this process can also constitute illegal discrimination under the ADA.
Steps for Asserting Your Rights
If your employer doesn't make these accommodations or actively discriminates against you and others with disabilities, the following steps will help you seek redress:
- Assert Your Rights- Point out that your rights are being violated and demand fair treatment. Pay close attention to how your employer reacts, and gather as much evidence as you can if they retaliate against you.
- File a Formal Complaint- Take advantage of your company’s internal complaints process.
- File a Charge of Discrimination- If the company ignores or retaliates against your complaint, find a law firm you can trust and file a disability discrimination case against your employer.
- File a Lawsuit- If your lawyer and your employer cannot settle the discrimination case out of court, a lawsuit may be the only way to ensure your rights are upheld.