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Study shows numerous individuals fear disability discrimination

Many people in California and across the country have some kind of disability. You may have a disability yourself that you have worked to manage, possibly for your entire life. While your situation may mean that you accomplish tasks in different ways or in a different time span, you do not feel that your disability holds you back from being a capable employee.

Unfortunately, many people with disabilities face some type of discriminatory action while on the job. Some individuals may face significant discrimination if prospective employers do not hire them because of their conditions, or they may face more subtle discrimination if their coworkers constantly think they need help with tasks, for example.

Statistics on disability discrimination

If you are someone who works while also handling a disability, you are far from alone. In fact, approximately 30 percent of college-educated employees in the United States with full-time, white-collar jobs have some form of disability. A study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation explored disabilities and discrimination in the workplace. The study asked 3,570 employees with white-collar jobs and who fell in the age range of 21 to 65 a series of questions. The study produced the following results:

  • Individuals indicated having "invisible disabilities," or those not clearly visible to the naked eye, and "visible disabilities," or those that can be outwardly seen.
  • Employees with invisible disabilities made up 62 percent of individuals who indicated that they have a disabilities.
  • Over one-third of individuals with invisible disabilities claimed discrimination and negative bias on the job.
  • Of those with visible disabilities, 44 percent indicated that they experienced some kind of discrimination.
  • Certain individuals showed some signs of disabilities, and 40 percent of those employees experienced discrimination.
  • Only 21 percent of employees with disabilities inform their human resources departments.
  • Approximately 39 percent of disabled employees inform their managers.
  • The report indicated that 57 percent of workers with disabilities felt "stalled" in their careers.

Individuals with disabilities are often afraid to ask for accommodations for various reasons, which may include the fear of facing discrimination or otherwise exposing their disabilities when they rather would not.

Disability discrimination

Many individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you have asked for reasonable accommodation to complete your work-related tasks and your employer failed to accommodate you or if you have faced other discriminatory actions in the workplace due to your disability, you may want to consider your legal options for addressing the wrongdoing. A lawyer can advise you.

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