Disability Discrimination in the Workplace


We often forget that disability discrimination is something that still happens every single day. While the issue of discrimination against people who have disability accommodations appears most frequently in public locations, it can also arise in the workplace. Disability discrimination can even happen here in Knoxville and the East Tennessee area. But what is Disability discrimination? How do you know if you have been a victim of this type of discrimination?

What is Disability Discrimination?

Disability discrimination is when a person with a disability is not treated fairly compared to a person without the disability in similar circumstances. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws prohibit disability discrimination in all aspects of employment, such as hiring, firing, pay, promotion, layoffs, benefits, and other aspects of a person’s job. Disability discrimination may even apply to workers who are not disabled or who do not consider themselves as having a disability.

How can I prove that I have a Disability Discrimination Claim?

Generally, a disability discrimination claim must have the following parts:

  1. That the employee is either (a) disabled, (b) has a record of being disabled, or (c) is regarded by the employer as having an impairment;
  2. That the employer knew of the disability or the employee’s record of being disabled;
  3. That the employee is qualified for the job, even if he or she needs a reasonable accommodation to perform it;
  4. That the employer took a materially adverse action against the person; and
  5. That the employer would not have taken the action but for the person’s disability, record of being disabled, or the employer’s belief that the person has an impairment.

A lawyer at Nelson Law Group can also tell you about other factors a court will consider.

What makes a Disability Discrimination case different from other cases?

Generally, disability discrimination cases can be very definition-heavy. Laws and terms concerning disability discrimination can be confusing and often very complicated. The EEOC’s website, www.eeoc.gov, has more information about all types of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment.

If you have specific questions about whether you have been the victim of disability discrimination, call Nelson Law Group today at (865) 383-1053. Our staff would be happy to assist you.