Disabled workers in Maryland face many challenges when they are looking for work. Job prospects can be limited for them because many job tasks require physical abilities that they don’t have. Even if job functions can be performed by a disabled worker or altered to accommodate a disabled worker, employers may discriminate against job applicants based on their disabilities.
Employers are legally required to make reasonable accommodations to allow disabled workers to stay employed. If an employer does not accommodate a worker with a disability, the employer could be sued for disability discrimination. Last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 26,968 claims filed by workers who had been discriminated against for their disabilities. Disability-based discrimination claims made up 30 percent of all discrimination claims that were filed in 2015.
There were 12,000 fewer disability discrimination claims filed in 2005 than in 2015. Some people argue that people with disabilities are more likely to file claims now because they understand their rights, and there have been changes to laws and regulations. Employer discrimination could also be a factor in the rise in disability discrimination claims. This year, Lowe’s was forced to settle for $8.6 million after the home improvement chain fired thousands of disabled workers.
Disability discrimination can occur at every point of the employment process from interviews to decisions about employee layoffs. People who believe that they were denied employment because of their disability may be able to claim monetary compensation for the unfair treatment, and they may want to meet with an attorney to see how the process works.