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Job applicants, employees and disability discrimination

Disability discrimination remains a problem in the United States. There are companies that discriminate against applicants and employees for many reasons, including a disability.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces laws against disability discrimination. The EEOC provides applicants and employees with multiple rights, including but not limited to:

-- An employer is prohibited from treating a person differently because he or she is disabled.

-- An employer is prohibited from treating a person differently because he or she is associated with somebody, such as a spouse or friend, who has a disability.

-- Harassment is prohibited by managers, supervisors, co-workers and other workers based on a disability.

Along with the above, the EEOC website explains the ability for a person to request a reasonable workplace change:

"The laws enforced by EEOC give you the right to request reasonable workplace changes to allow you to apply for a job, perform your job, have access to the workplace, or enjoy the same benefits available to other employees. We call these requests for "reasonable accommodation."

Most companies are familiar with the laws set forth by the EEOC and will do whatever it takes to ensure that all applicants and employees, disabled or not, are treated fairly. There are also companies that discriminate against a person because of a disability, which is against the law.

If you or a loved one is put in this position, you can first discuss the situation with the hiring company or your human resources department. In the event that you are not satisfied with the answers, it may be time to consult with an attorney.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Disability Discrimination" Dec. 29, 2014

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