Disability discrimination and reasonable accommodation

Disability discrimination and reasonable accommodation

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Employment Law - Employee

The Americans with Disabilities Act provides protections for people who have disabilities in the workplace. One of its key provisions requires employers to provide a “reasonable accommodation” to disabled workers when possible. If the employer can get around the worker’s disability by providing a reasonable accommodation, then it cannot lawfully discriminate against that worker on the basis of their disability.

A recent case helps illustrate how this provision works and how it is enforced.

Staffing company to pay $77,500

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently reported that Elwood Staffing Services, a staffing company with offices all over the country, including in Florida, agreed to pay $77.500 to settle a claim that it had unlawfully discriminated against a disabled person who applied for a job.

According to the EEOC, the worker applied for a job with the company and received a conditional job offer. However, the company later withdrew the offer because the worker does not have a left hand. The EEOC reported that the company made no effort to provide a reasonable accommodation.

After the Department of Justice filed suit against the company on the worker’s behalf, the company agreed to pay the settlement, revise its discrimination policies and take other actions to prevent this type of incident from happening in the future.

EEOC complaints

If you suspect you have been discriminated against at work because of your disability, you can file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will begin investigating the claim. If it finds your claim credible, it may try to resolve the dispute. If it can’t reach agreement, it refers the matter to the Department of Justice, which decides whether it wishes to file suit.

If the Justice Department decides against filing the lawsuit, the EEOC will issue you a notification of your right to file suit.

How attorneys can help

Resolving a claim of disability discrimination can be a long and sometimes frustrating process. Attorneys with experience in discrimination can help disabled clients at many points in the process. Even if your case has not yet reached the point where you have received notice of the right to sue, it can be helpful to confer with an attorney to learn more about your rights and options.