Work Discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace is, unfortunately, something that most people will face or have faced at one point in their lives. For some people this may mean not getting a promotion because of their sex or ethnicity, or being treated differently because they do not dress or act the same as their co-workers.
People can also face discrimination because of a disability. It is important to know how to act against discrimination and what your rights are.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), charges of job bias based on disability increased in 2011 and continued to rise in 2012. Approximately 100,000 claims were filed with the federal agency alleging job bias or discrimination due to race, sex, national origin, religion or disability, among other categories.
Of those, 25,742 charges were based on disability status, the highest number reported since the EEOC began enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1992.
This is not to say that all of these cases are accurate and that discrimination is always present, because that is not the case. Though discrimination does happen, laws are put into place in order to protect people and that is why it is so important to know what those laws are and what your rights as a citizen are in order to accurately report when discrimination is occurring.
I leave you with two examples: one of my participants was a man who did not have the use of his right arm. He more than made up for it, though, with his determination to succeed and the strength and ability of his left side. He is just as capable as anyone else in a warehouse environment because he adapted to his disability. However, he was hired on by an employer who felt differently after seeing how visible his disability was. Though this man kept up with all the other employees he was let go after working the entire shift. He was told he couldn’t handle the work. This was a case of workplace discrimination and he was directed to file his case with the EEOC.
Another man that I worked with was not given a job because he had a family member that worked there. He felt it was due to how he looked rather than the reason he was given. He was very upset about the situation and wanted to file a case of discrimination. He was advised against it because although he should have been informed about the policy, he was not truly discriminated against.
If you feel you are being discriminated against, assess the situation, talk with others close to you and report your concerns to the EEOC. For more information visit the websites listed below.
http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm
http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/laws.htm

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