Disabled workers need to be treated fairly in the workplace. This means they have the same rights to pay, hours, opportunities and much more. They deserve to be treated exactly like other workers who do not suffer from a disability.
But it’s not all about the employer/employee relationship as it relates to their official position, pay, benefits and things of this nature. It also extends to harassment, which may come at the hands of co-workers or supervisors. Workers should never get harassed because:
- They actually do have a disability
- The other person thinks they have a disability
- They used to have a disability in the past that they no longer have
- They have a minor disability or a temporary disability
- They do not actually have a disability at all, but the other workers believe they do or act like they do
This last portion may sound odd, but it’s actually very important. If co-workers constantly harass someone for having a mental disability, and then that person starts a discrimination lawsuit, those co-workers cannot expect to get off without penalty if the person has never been diagnosed or if a doctor says they’re not even disabled. The illegal harassment still took place based on the perception of the disability, and that’s still against the law according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Have you been harassed at work? It can make it very hard to feel like you can move forward with your career, and it may infringe on your rights. Make sure you know what legal options you have.