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How disability discrimination hurts employees, employers

Many employees in Florida who have disabilities may not report those disabilities to their human resource departments. Researchers at the Center for Talent Innovation surveyed more than 3,500 white-collar employees and found that almost one-third of full-time, college-educated workers had disabilities. Nearly two-thirds of those disabilities are invisible. However, just over 20 percent of people with disabilities identified themselves to human resources, and only 39 percent told their managers.

Workers may hesitate to report themselves as having disabilities because of workplace discrimination. While workers with disabilities report slightly higher levels of ambition than workers without disabilities, only 44 percent of workers without disabilities fear their careers have stalled compared to 57 percent of workers with disabilities.

Furthermore, around 33 percent of employees report negative bias because of their disability. The numbers rise for workers whose disability is visible or somewhat visible with 44 and 40 percent, respectively, reporting discrimination. This discrimination may take the form of assuming an employee with disabilities cannot complete a certain task or will do the task too slowly.

When employees are afraid to speak up about disabilities, employers also miss the chance to make alterations that could help their employees be more productive. For example, an employee might hide migraines when they could be addressed by changing the employee's lighting.

This is a reasonable accommodation, and most employers are required to offer reasonable accommodations to employees who have disabilities. If employers refuse these accommodations or an employee feels discriminated against because of a disability, the employee may want to seek Boca Raton workplace disability discrimination law firm help. An attorney might be able to advise an employee about how to proceed based on employee rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the employee's workplace does not respond appropriately, the employee may want to file a lawsuit.

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