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What are the causes of workplace disability discrimination?

Despite the fact that workplace disability discrimination was outlawed nearly 25 years ago, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, this still remains a problem in many parts of the country.

To protect against this, Congress setup the Office of Disability Employment Policy within the Department of Labor. The Office of Disability Employment Policy is staffed with the responsibility of promoting the hiring of disabled individuals.

In 2013, a Wharton management professor, along with several students, setup a Field Application Project in an attempt to determine why disability discrimination remains in the workplace.

The team found three obstacles associated with the hiring of disabled workers:

— Negative perception, such as the belief by employers that the decision to hire a disabled worker could push additional work onto supervisors.

— Lack of external hiring support. Employers find it a challenge to locate external resources that allow them to successfully recruit disabled workers.

— Lack of internal hiring support. Just the same as external issues, internal issues exist. According to the team’s policy brief, money can stand in the way of creating internal knowledge pertaining to “hiring, accommodating and training people with disabilities.”

When it comes to hiring disabled workers, these are the types of things that often get in the way. With some companies, this is just the beginning of the problem. Once they bring a disabled worker on-board, they may not know how to treat the person within the limits of the law.

When a person is the victim of workplace disability discrimination, he or she may want to speak with an attorney who is experienced in this area of employment law.

Source: University of Pennsylvania, “Job Discrimination Against the Disabled: Not Just an Academic Issue” Nov. 17, 2014

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