Over the course of a lifetime, most people spend a tremendous amount of time at work. We can say that our workplace is our second home and that is why it is vital that we feel comfortable and welcome there. All forms of discrimination are punishable by law, regardless of their basis: discrimination based on sex, race, nation, etc. But unfortunately, this does not mean that discrimination doesn’t exist. Another type is disability discrimination, which implies different treatment of workers due to their disability. This topic is very important, so we decided to list a few things you need to know about disability discrimination in the text below.
1. What exactly is disability discrimination?
Disability is one of several different characteristics that are protected in terms of discrimination. Disability discrimination can be present in school, in public places, but also in the workplace. This type of discrimination involves treating a person differently only because he or she has a disability or is in some way related to it. It can occur separately, or be part of discrimination on several different grounds (gender, race, etc.). All forms of discrimination, including this one, are most severely punishable by law. Employers have a duty to protect people with disabilities from discrimination, but also to prevent discrimination in public if it occurs.
However, in addition to other employees, it is sometimes employers who discriminate against their employees with disabilities. If you or someone you know is a victim of disability discrimination, it is important that you do something about it right away. We suggest hiring a disability lawyer to help you get through the whole legal process and protect yourself in the best way. You can read more about the professional and reliable disability lawyer from Canada at www.disabilitylawyertoronto.ca.
Note: Disability discrimination means treating employees differently, regardless of whether their disability is visible or not. People with disabilities should be treated like everyone else and their characteristics should not affect their position in the workplace.
2. Who are the persons considered to be disabled?
Officially, people with disabilities are considered to have any mental or physical impairment that severely limits their daily functioning. Also, these are people who may not have such impairments now, but have had them in the past, as well as those who have impairments but do not officially have a diagnosis of disability. All details on disability and discrimination based on it are defined in The ADA Amendments Act.
3. Who can be responsible for disability discrimination?
Anyone who treats a person differently due to a disability is considered responsible. It can be an employer or one of the employees. In the event that employees discriminate against their coworker, the employer is obliged to do something about it in order to protect the discriminated worker. Failure to do so will result in a breach of the employment contract, for which the employer is liable before the law. It is desirable that employers establish the right approach in time and ensure that no discrimination occurs.
Another thing that the employer has to do is make reasonable adjustments to the workplace for people with disabilities, so that they can function optimally and perform their work tasks, regardless of disabilities.
4. Can an employer ask a person about their disability during a job interview?
The law prohibits an employer from asking their potential employee if they have a disability or asking them about the severity and nature of the disability. In case you find yourself in this situation, you should know that you are protected by law and that the person across the street has no right to ask you such questions.
However, the employer has every right to ask you if you are able to perform certain work tasks, without or with minor adjustments to the workplace to your needs. He may also ask you to describe how to perform a particular task.
Also, there are specific situations when information about disability can be requested at a job interview, but only when such activities are approved by law.
5. Is it permissible for an employer to require a person with a disability to take medical or other exams?
There are situations when a person with a disability has to undergo certain medical or physical examinations. However, this only happens after the person has officially received a job offer, and only as part of a regular protocol. This means that all employees go through the same process, in order to determine whether a person is medically fit to perform certain work tasks. However, the employer has no right to require a person with a disability to undergo medical and other examinations solely because of his or her disability. Any behavior that indicates a different treatment of a person because of his or her characteristics belongs to discrimination at work.
Also, the employer has no right to refuse to hire you because your medical tests indicate that you have a disability, unless these tests indicate that you cannot perform certain jobs due to your diagnosis. The results of all medical analyzes must be kept in a certain way, as confidential information that cannot be shared with others without permission.
6. What is meant by a person with a disability who is qualified for a particular job?
In order for a person with a disability to be employed in a certain position, it is necessary to be qualified. This means that without or with reasonable adjustments to the workplace, she or he can perform the basic competencies defined by the workplace. Also, a qualified person with a disability must meet the requirements of the employer in terms of education, skills, experience or licenses, like every other worker.
Disability discrimination in the workplace is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. Employees or the employer can be responsible for this type of discrimination. The employer is obliged to prevent discrimination in all ways, and also to protect the worker if discrimination occurs. In the event that this does not happen, the employer is liable before the law. If you are a victim of disability discrimination, we suggest that you do something about it immediately and hire a disability lawyer to help you protect your rights.