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EEOC reports rise in disability discrimination at work

Disabled people seeking employment in California and around the country report having trouble getting job interviews according to 2016 data released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The commission reported that claims for all types of discrimination rose nationwide and that over 30 percent of the cases investigated involved unfair treatment of disabled people.

People with disabilities constitute 20 percent of the overall population, and only 17.5 percent of them participated in the workforce at all in 2015. They generally hold low-wage and temporary or part-time jobs. Discrimination experienced by disabled workers includes denials of accommodation, refusal to promote, harassment and retaliation. Some managers and employers believe people with disabilities cannot perform jobs or that giving them employment represents an act of charity.

The rise in complaints filed by workers with disabilities could be attributed to a greater awareness among them about their rights. The EEOC also suggested that a small increase in employment among people with disabilities could be contributing to the rise in discrimination charges.

In addition to disability discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal and state laws also protect workers as well as job applicants from negative treatment because of their age, race, sex, national origin or religion. When a person experiences employment discrimination, an attorney could provide advice about how to proceed with a complaint. An attorney could evaluate the evidence to see if the behavior of an employer, manager or co-worker crossed legal lines. Assistance filing a complaint with a regulatory agency could be provided.

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