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What is disability discrimination?

Discrimination based on a person's disability goes against our values as a nation. When it occurs in employment, it is also contrary to Florida and federal law.

The Americans with Disabilities Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees and job applicants because they have a disability. A disability is defined under the law as a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more of a person's major life activities.

Examples of disability discrimination include:

  • Firing you because you have a disability
  • Asking you if you have a disability during your job interview
  • Failing to hire you because you have a disability
  • Failing to provide you with a reasonable accommodation that would allow you to do your job
  • Harassing you because you are disabled, creating a hostile work environment
  • Denying you a promotion because of your disability
  • Retaliating against you for filling a disability discrimination claim or supporting the claim of another

An employer is not likely to admit that they discriminated against a disabled employee or job applicant. To prove disability discrimination, you will likely need the help of an experienced employment law attorney. Here are examples of possible evidence of disability discrimination:

  • An employer terminates or lays off a disproportionate number of employees with disabilities, and then hires new people to fill those positions
  • An employer terminates a disabled employee, even though he or she has a record of good performance reviews
  • An employer fails to make an accommodation that was effective and did not pose a hardship for the business

Not all employer actions that seem unfair may be considered disability discrimination by a court. The differences between legal employer actions and illegal employment discrimination are subtle, and only an experienced lawyer can advise you if you have a case.

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