Although we often talk about human rights and freedoms – in practice, we are often surprised by the fact that we can be victims of discrimination based on various grounds. That also happens with employees who have been diagnosed with some form of disability. What to do then, and how to prove disability discrimination at work? Here are five legal tips that can be useful.
Although We Live in the 21st Century – Discrimination is Still Present
The first paragraph of the UN Declaration On Human Rights tells us that, as human beings, we are all equal – and that this is the inviolable right of every person and individual. However, in reality, we often encounter opposite attitudes. Most often, it is a consequence of prejudice and ignorance – so people who, for some reason, do not fit into generally accepted patterns are subject to discrimination. Therefore, it is not surprising that today discrimination is often on the agenda of various debates about human rights and freedoms.
Discrimination of People With Disabilities
The word discrimination is something we often mention in everyday speech. We use it when we feel we have been taken wrong – or neglected and mistreated in any way whatsoever. However, it is correct to say that someone is discriminated against when placed in a disadvantageous position due to one or more personal characteristics. Many sensitive categories of the population have been facing this issue – including people with disabilities. Unfortunately, people with disabilities are often victims of discrimination – even at work. What exactly does that mean, and how can we recognize this in our working environment? According to disabilitylawyertoronto.ca, discrimination based on disability can include hostile behavior, exclusion, and segregation, sometimes even outright violence. So, what can we do, and what legal steps can we take in such situations? We will try to help you with some answers to these questions.
What are the Most Common Examples of Disability Discrimination in Practice?
Not every injustice can be treated as discriminatory behavior. Therefore, pay attention to some common examples that can indicate that you are being discriminated against because of your disability at your workplace.
You don’t get the work engagement
If you are a person with a disability and you’re constantly not hired for a job – that can be an indicator of discrimination. However, this is a bit of a sensitive area because that doesn’t always have to be a fact. Not getting a job is not always proof of discrimination. Still, if you have the same or better qualifications for a job, and yet employers constantly choose other candidates just because you are a person with a disability – that can be a firm basis for a disability discrimination lawsuit.
Harassment based on your disability
This is still a common form of discrimination today. Therefore, any offensive comments by colleagues, associates, or employers based on your disability – can and will be treated as discriminatory behavior.
There is no adaptation of the workplace and space for a disabled employee
Employers who employ people with disabilities are obliged to ensure that the workplace for the person with disabilities meets the conditions necessary for the employee to be able to successfully perform the work for which he was hired. If this condition is not fulfilled and yet is needed – we can say that it is probably some form of discrimination.
Demotion or inappropriate punishment
If a person with a disability is subject to different treatment compared to other employees – this is considered to be discrimination. Transferring to a lower-paid position at work or other forms of demotion are things you should report. We also have to be very careful when it comes to sanctions. Very often, disabled employees are mobbing victims. That mostly happens in situations where employees decide to report discrimination cases. Therefore, you should report such things and file a lawsuit for discrimination at work.
Legal Ways To Handle The Problem
Of course, when such situations occur, you must be aware of the fact that you need legal help. It is best to contact lawyers who are experts in this field. Here are the legal ways you can prove that you are subject to disability discrimination at work.
1. Prove your degree of disability
Regardless of whether your disability is obvious – you need to prove it. That means you must have proof of the disease you are suffering from and the degree of disability caused to you. Disability is not only declared in extreme cases – for example, if you have lost a limb due to an illness or accident. On the contrary, disability can also occur due to other defects or diseases that prevent you from performing your usual work and daily duties. Many people are declared disabled due to their struggle with diabetes – and some have certain behavioral disorders, for example, Tourette’s syndrome. Many health issues, (depending on where you live and how the law looks at it) – can be declared as a disability. Therefore, you must have the causes of your disability in your health documentation. That is the first prerequisite for starting a legal battle against discrimination at work.
2. Document every case in which you feel you have been discriminated against
To prove that such a situation occurred, you must document everything. What does that mean? We can say that you have to record every such case. That includes significant data such as what you did at the time, what your task was, what time the event happened – and what specifically indicates that you were a victim of discriminatory behavior.
3. Witnesses in such situations
When an unpleasant situation like this happens to you – it would be good if you have someone who will confirm it. If there are any witnesses to an incident you experienced at work for such reasons – it would be desirable if they testify in your favor. Unfortunately, it happens that your colleagues from work who were present – do not want to testify for fear of losing their jobs or possible sanctions. Therefore, this is sometimes difficult to do. However, today our work environment is most often under monitoring and the watchful eye of cameras – so that can also help us build a case.
Although we live in the 21st century, discrimination is still a common phenomenon. Persons with disabilities who believe they have been victims of such behavior should hire a lawyer specialized in these types of cases. Although it is sometimes difficult to prove that you were a victim of discrimination – it is still not impossible. Therefore, we hope that some of the things we have pointed out can be a good starting point for you to start a dispute if you need it.