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Disability Discrimination Claims On The Rise According to EEOC

Emanuel Shirazi

New data obtained from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suggests that employees are filing more disability discrimination complaints. Here is what we know about the report:

  1. For example, in Texas: although disabled persons make up 17.5% of the workforce, 30% of the complaints filed with the EEOC in 2016 were those having to do with disability discrimination.
  2. In 2016, a total of 28,073 disability complaints were filed.
  3. After the EEOC investigated those complaints, 5,680 were found to have been supported by evidence.
  4. $131 million was collected and distributed to those who were discriminated against.

What caused the increase in disability discrimination complaints?

Though it’s possible that there has been an increase in overall discrimination, it’s more likely that the increase has to do with the fact that those being discriminated against feel more confident to report their claims. Good news, considering many disabled individuals probably already feel like the process of getting interviews and then getting hired is hard enough. Discrimination such as harassment, retaliation, discrimination, and being refused promotions may go underreported if the individual fears losing their job and starting the hiring process over again.

More importantly, many temporarily disabled employees are wrongfully terminated when they request some time off or other reasonable accommodation. Many employers will fire a disabled employee because they have exhausted their FMLA leave or don’t qualify for FMLA leave. This is illegal in most situations.

As a disabled worker, it’s important to remember that you are entitled to certain accommodations. If you feel that you are being discriminated against by your employer, don’t suffer quietly alone. Instead, consider contacting an employment attorney to assist you with building a factual case against your employer.

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