The Equality Act of 2010 has made discrimination in the workplace due to a disability illegal. The Act further protects those with disabilities from other acts of discrimination outside of the workplace.
Discrimination is defined as a person being made to feel less than another person or placed at a disadvantage because of a perceived notion. In the case of those with a disability, it is the notion that the disability will prevent the individual from performing their necessary duties in the workplace.
Discrimination can occur to those who:
• Have a disability
• Are believed to have a disability
• Are associated with someone who has a disability
Discrimination by association occurs in the workplace when a person is not hired or promoted because their loved one has a disability and may need the assistance of the employee at different times.
Discrimination can occur by making rules or failing to make rules that will accommodate those with disabilities. It can be an intentional or unintentional act,
A disability is defined as a:
• Physical or mental condition that does not allow a person to function on the same level as other people
• Progressive diseases, such as MS or HIV that may require additional medical care
• Previous disability that lasted for over 12 months but from which you are now recovered
Discrimination in The Workplace
Discrimination in the workplace can occur on many different levels. Hiring practices are the most common form of discriminatory practices. A company cannot legally ask about medical conditions or health issues prior to an official job offer being made. Businesses cannot set standards for a position that would actively discriminate against a person, such as establishing requirements that are not necessary for the position to be performed.
In the workplace itself, employers are prevented from making the workplace unfriendly to those with disabilities. An example of this would be an employee that needs grab rails to help lower themselves and rise from the toilet seat. Failure to install these rails is an act of discrimination.
Of course, other forms of discrimination would include treating the person badly or unjustly in the workplace due to their disability. Depending on the type of treatment being received, this can almost be abusive.
Anyone who feels that they are being actively discriminated against in a workplace situation should seek legal counsel to see if the business is in violation of the law. Anyone with a disability has specific rights under the Equality Act of 2010 to be free from discriminatory practices by any and all employers.