If you have a health condition, including mental illness (like depression or bipolar disorder) or a long term illness (like cancer), and your employer refuses to work with you to help you succeed at work (i.e., offer a reasonable accommodation), you may have a claim for disability discrimination. If you have been mistreated for your age, race, sex, or religious beliefs, you also might be a victim of discrimination.
Examples of Disability DiscriminationAn employee is considered disabled under the law if:
- She has a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity (like walking, talking, seeing, hearing, learning, or breathing); or
- She has a history of this kind of disability (such as cancer in remission or mental disease that does not require accommodation); or
- She is believed to have a physical or mental impairment, whether or not she actually has the impairment.
Common Examples of DiscriminationYou may have a claim for disability discrimination if:
- Your employer knows you have a disabling condition, but holds you responsible for work you missed when you were on approved leave for the condition—like chemotherapy treatments for cancer;
- Your employer knows you have a disabling condition that requires a certain diet, like diabetes, but refuses to permit you to eat and drink at your workstation to treat high and low blood sugars;
- Your employer refuses to provide a reasonable accommodation to allow you to be successful in your job, like providing ergonomic equipment to manage repetitive use injuries; or allowing you to bring an assistance animal into the workplace;
- Your employer describes your disabling condition in an insulting or demeaning way;
- Your employer holds you to different performance and/or conduct standards than your non-disabled co-workers
- Your employer disciplines you for approved absences related to your disability