Every employee in Florida has the right to work in a place that is free from harassment and mistreatment. There are both state and federal laws in place that protect the rights of workers, and employers have the obligation to ensure they do not allow the development of a hostile work environment. Despite these things, disability discrimination in the workplace is a growing concern.
Previously, race discrimination claims outpaced disability discrimination claims. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that issues for disabled individuals may be a more prominent problem based on the number of complaints. This problem may relate back to the fact that employers often do a poor job of developing and encouraging inclusive workplaces. Reports indicate that only 17% of workplaces have inclusion programs in place.
Employers may not intentionally discriminate against a disabled individual in the workplace, but they may not know about issues such as reasonable accommodations. Instead of training on disability inclusion, they may focus more on sexual harassment training. Employers and employees may be unaware of how they have to include disabled individuals at every stage of the employment process.
Disability discrimination is unacceptable in any Florida workplace, and a victim does not have to suffer in silence or fear what will happen if he or she speaks out. If a disabled individual experienced mistreatment at work or in the hiring process and it is because of his or her condition, it could be grounds for a civil claim. Employers bear the responsibility of being inclusive, and they also would be wise to include inclusively training for other employees.