Disability discrimination is one of the more difficult types of discrimination cases to prove. Because a worker already has characteristics that limits some of their workplace activities, it is very easy for an employer to either actively discriminate against them by refusing to hire or promote them for specific jobs or deny them opportunities in more subtle ways.
They can steer an employee away from some positions, suggesting that because of their disability, they would not be happy working in some jobs, or carefully structuring job openings in such a way as to make it impossible for them to be qualified or hired for such jobs.
They may simply not schedule them for certain training or assign them to different jobs that prevent them from gaining experience they would need to move on to positions or types of work.
And if a disabled worker recognizes that they are being denied opportunities, they may suffer retaliation when they object or complain to their employer. The retaliation may be open, including demotions or terminations, but can also be more subtle, and they can find themselves assigned to positions with fewer hours, less attractive schedules or less pleasant tasks.
In some cases, the employer may accuse the employee of “violations” of some workplace policy. The allegations may be unfounded, or vague and poorly substantiated, but they may hope to intimate the employee in to leaving without a fight.
One man in Upstate New York sued an employer over such an allegation, and he is now appealing a lower court dismissal of his case. His attorney notes the grounds for termination were so vague that virtually anyone could be fired under such standards.
Like many who experience this, he feels the need to appeal to do what is right and to help others who may suffer this type of discrimination.
Source: wbng.com, “Disabled man sues company for discrimination,” June 17, 2015