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EEOC reports rise in disability discrimination claims

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, disability discrimination claims increased in 2016, and it appears to be part of an overall trend. However, this may not be due to an actual increase in discrimination. It is possible that employees in New York and around the country may be likely to report discrimination. It could also be because of a small increase in employment for disabled people.

Whatever the reason, disabled people do appear to be disproportionately affected by discrimination. Only about 20 percent of the population is disabled. Of that percentage, in 2015, just over 17 percent had jobs due to an inability to work or to find a job. However, in 2016, nearly one in every three EEOC cases involved disability discrimination.

When disabled people do find jobs, they are often not desirable positions. The jobs may be temporary, part-time and low-wage. Furthermore, disabled people who are not white or who belong to other populations that may also frequently experience discrimination, such as LGBQT people, might face discrimination on multiple fronts.

In 2016, there were more than 28,000 charges of disability discrimination. The EEOC found that 5,680 did constitute cases of discrimination. However, this does not mean that every case that the EEOC did not rule as discriminatory was not. Often, the focus of the EEOC is on patterns, so more isolated cases may have been missed.

Employment discrimination on the basis of disability is one of many forms of discrimination that might lead to a wrongful termination. This could occur because an employer refuses a reasonable accommodation for a disabled person, or it might happen because a person has reported discrimination. This type of retaliation is illegal, and people who have been adversely affected in this manner may want to meet with an attorney to see what recourse they may have.

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