Workers with disabilities often confront discrimination

Many Houston workers with disabilities face disadvantageous conditions on the job. Over 54 million people across the United States have a disability, but people with serious disabilities who work full time earn $1,000 less each month on average than workers without disabilities. Another 13.3 million people of working age are unemployed or have experienced difficulty securing employment due to their disabilities; they have a 70 percent unemployment rate.

Disability discrimination is prohibited by law. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a mandate to monitor disability discrimination as well as workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, national origin and other protected factors. In 2017, the EEOC said that discrimination complaints based on disability numbered 26,838. This means that nearly 32 percent of all discrimination complaints received by the agency concerned workplace mistreatment on the basis of disability. The EEOC reported that 5,540 of these complaints about disability discrimination were successfully resolved in favor of the complainant, with $135.2 million in monetary benefits for the victims.

However, many issues related to disability discrimination often do not reach the EEOC as workers may be concerned about protecting their jobs and unaware of their rights under the law. Furthermore, companies that have 14 or fewer employees are exempt from federal legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Workers with disabilities can face all kinds of discrimination and unjust treatment in the workplace. Those who have been subject to discrimination on the job on the basis of a disability can consult with an employment lawyer. An attorney can provide advice and counsel on how to hold an employer responsible.

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