California residents may understand that discrimination should not occur in the workplace. However, according to the EEOC, discrimination claims rose around the country in 2016, and disability discrimination claims are also on the rise. In 2016, claims based on disability discrimination rose 30 percent despite the fact that disabled workers comprise only a small portion of the overall workforce. Roughly 20 percent of the population as a whole is disabled.
There are many reasons why a disabled person may not be employed. In some cases, individuals prefer not to work or refrain from working to retain their benefits. In other cases, they would like to work but can't find anyone willing to hire them. Those who do find work may be employed in part-time jobs that offer low wages. They may also be subject to retaliation, harassment and denied access to reasonable accommodations to help them do their jobs.
A disabled individual who is also a person of color or a woman is more likely to face harassment. The same is true for those who may be part of the LGBTQ community. However, workers may be feeling more confident in speaking out against harassment, which may be why the number of disability-related claims is on the rise.
Individuals who believe that they are the victims of this form of employment discrimination may want to meet with an attorney to see what rights they may have. Disability discrimination does not only cover acts that occur in the workplace, however. The protections extend to behaviors exhibited during the interview and hiring processes.