Unfortunately, every day in Pennsylvania workplaces, employees with disabilities are not treated fairly by their employers or coworkers. While this is by no means the norm, discrimination is also not uncommon either, and the effects are devastating both to an employee’s financial and emotional health. If you have been discriminated against due to your protected characteristic, in this case your disability, you do have options to fight back. By filing a workplace discrimination or harassment claim, you can get that raise, promotion, or job that you were denied. You can also file for financial damages or other measures to make this situation that you have been put in somewhat less devastating, and to ensure that it does not happen to you or anyone else in the future who works for that employer.
Recognizing Discrimination in the Workplace
Sometimes, many forms of discrimination go unnoticed or unchecked by employees who either do not know any better, or who wish to turn the other cheek and hope that their employer’s poor behavior changes in the future. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), employees and job seekers are protected against discrimination in all forms, including the following:
- Being fired for telling your employer about your disability;
- Being harassed for your disability;
- Being denied a reasonable accommodation;
- Not receiving equal pay;
- Being mocked or made fun of for your disability;
- Not being given a job because of your disability; and
- Much more.
Who Qualifies for Protection?
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an employee or applicant is considered to have a disability when they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, they have a record of such impairment, or they are regarded as having such an impairment. Some examples of a disability that may be covered under the ADA include the following:
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Bipolar disorder;
- Mobility impairment;
- Intellectual impairment; and
- Much more.
All employees who work for an employer with 15 or more employees are covered under the ADA. Employees who work for employers with fewer than 15 employee are also protected under other laws, and you should file your claim with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commision. No matter the size of your employer, you most likely have options for financial compensation, and may be able to sue for pain and suffering, punitive damages, lost wages, mental anguish, loss of joy of life, costs of searching for a job, and more. If you file a federal claim with the ADA, your compensatory and punitive damages are capped as follows according to the EEOC:
- $50,000 for employers with 15-100 employees;
- $100,000 for employers with 101-200 employees
- $200,000 for employers with 201-500 employees; and
- $300,000 for employers with more than 500 employees.
The Time to Act is Now. Call a Pennsylvania Disability Discrimination Attorney for Help Today
Some people never understand that their immoral nature of discrimination against others is not only wrong, but illegal, and that there are serious ramifications ahead of them. If your employer has discriminated against you for a disability, perceived disability, or due to your relationship with a disabled person, call the Pennsylvania HKM Employment Attorneys for help today.