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How to address disability discrimination in the workplace
If you think you’re being discriminated against in your Arizona company because of disability, it’s vital to immediately take aggressive action. The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA protects workers from disability discrimination in all employment areas.
We detail here what to do if you suspect you’re being discriminated against in your
Arizona workplace. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s a wise idea to talk to a skilled discrimination attorney.
State Your Rights
The first step to confront possible disability discrimination in Arizona is to talk about it and state your legal rights. The ADA’s been with us for two decades. But you’d be surprised that many companies still don’t understand it or know its requirements. Your boss might also not understand how a disability affects or doesn’t affect you. Fortunately, most employers want to accommodate workers with disabilities once they know what to do.
For instance, say you didn’t get a manager promotion in Phoenix because you need to drive to clients every day. But your company thinks being in a wheelchair interferes with travel. You could meet with your boss and tell her that you can drive like anyone else, as long as you have a specially-equipped vehicle.
Your company could let you drive your vehicle or modify a company vehicle for use. Whatever the case, your company should think about promoting you because you can do the work just as your co-workers are.
File a Complaint
Your company might reconsider its position when you assert your rights. If they don’t, you will want to lodge a formal internal complaint. Filing a discrimination complaint at your company has dual purposes:
• The company can fix the problem. Most of us don’t want to go outside the company and file a lawsuit unless essential. Perhaps your supervisor isn’t taking the issue seriously, but your HR department probably will understand this is a serious matter. Filing your internal complaint gives your firm another ‘bite at the apple’ and sets things right.
• It formerly puts your employer on notice of a discrimination claim. If the complaint is ignored, you can take legal action. And your company’s refusal to solve the problem will be a critical part of your legal case. It will illustrate to a jury that you did your best to give them the chance to remedy the matter, but they didn’t. If the employer fails to address your formal complaint, you could be eligible for punitive damages in a lawsuit.
File Discrimination Charges
If your company doesn’t address your formal complaint, it’s time to file a discrimination charge with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You’re required to file a charge with the EEOC to have the right to sue for damages. If you don’t file the charge before getting a lawyer, the judge will probably dismiss the case.
Once you file with the EEOC, the agency will issue you a ‘right to sue’ letter that provides you with the legal right to go to court. The agency could determine there was no discrimination, or it could say the company violated the law. In any case, you should receive the right to sue letter.
File A Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
Once you have the right to sue letter, you may file a discrimination lawsuit against your company. If you haven’t hired a lawyer yet, now’s the time. Note that the deadline to file such lawsuits is short, and you need to meet many procedural steps to avoid having the case dismissed. So, it’s smart to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.