The disability employment rate in 2020 was 17.9% (according to HR Dive). This is down from a rate of 19.3% in 2019.
Could this be because employees with disabilities don’t know the laws that protect them at work?
It’s vital to understand the laws that ensure you’re treated fairly if you have a disability. Knowing what your employer can and can’t do can help you get and keep a job.
Do you know the ins and out of disability employment laws? Read on to learn more about how these laws might assist you.
Disability Employment Laws
The primary civil rights law covering people with disabilities is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA was created to protect the rights of people with disabilities in a variety of ways.
In addition to making sure people with disabilities have access to public spaces and transportation, the ADA also addresses the rights of disabled people at work.
Here are 5 laws you may not have known.
1. Getting the Job
You may be wondering whether or not you are required to disclose a disability when you’re applying for a job. Under the ADA, you do not have to.
Even after you get the job, you are under no obligation to disclose a disability to your employer. However, you may need accommodations to do your job properly. In that case, you’ll want to share your needs with your employer.
2. Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable accommodations can be requested at any stage in the job hiring process. At the application stage, you may need an application in a different format or an interpreter to be present at an interview. The ADA requires employers to provide these types of accommodations.
Once you’ve got the job, it’s your right to ask for accommodations linked to a medical condition. For example, if you use a wheelchair, you may need a different type of desk.
3. Your Salary
First, your employer must pay you the same salary as your co-workers in similar positions. Second, your employer cannot ask you to pay for any accommodation you’re entitled to under the ADA; that cost is their responsibility.
According to the ADA, an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of disability where health insurance is concerned. They must offer equal access to the same health coverage offered to other employees.
Additionally, you cannot be refused participation in your employer’s health care program because of your disability.
5. Job Changes
When you are being considered for another position within the company, your disability cannot be a factor. Just as when you were hired, your ability to do the job (with reasonable accommodations) is what counts.
You can be let go if you’re not performing your job to your employer’s satisfaction, but you cannot be fired for anything to do with your disability. Your employer may not let you go because you asked for accommodation or time off related to your disability.
If you think you’ve been fired because of your disability, don’t hesitate to seek out more information on your rights.
Regardless of your disability, you have the right to fairness when it comes to a job. Take the time to become familiar with the disability employment laws written to protect you. And be sure to learn about your options if your rights are not being honored.
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