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What counts as discrimination against disabled job applicants?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2021 | Workplace Discrimination |

In California, there are both federal and state laws in place to protect job searchers from discrimination against their disability or perceived disability. Within reason, as defined by the law, employers can’t reject a qualifying applicant for requiring minor accommodations to go through the application process or work at the company.

Refusal to make reasonable adjustments

The law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to job applicants who have a disability. If there is no elevator in the building where they are conducting interviews, for example, then they can’t expect someone who is in a wheelchair to go to an upper floor. They must change the interview to a location that’s accessible to the job applicant.

Employers must also make reasonable accommodations for you to work there if you have a disability. If an accommodation would cause undue hardship, the employer should offer you an alternative that would work for you. When there is truly no way of accommodating you without undue hardship, then the law doesn’t consider this discrimination.

Tests that require your impaired skill

Unless the test that employers give all applicants assesses a specific skill that is your impaired skill, it’s illegal to not adjust the test for disabled applicants. Written tests, for instance, should be in braille for blind applicants. If you have a learning disability, then an employer should agree to give you more time to complete the test. Make sure that you promptly request the accommodations you need before the date of your test. Employers need time to prepare your accommodations and might not realize that you need them if you don’t speak up.

Asking you questions about your disability

Employers can inquire about disability issues only if they ask all applicants these questions. They can’t target these questions to applicants who appear to have a disability. The ADA also clarifies that employers can’t ask questions pertaining to disability until they make a job offer to the applicant. You can, however, bring your disability up on your own if you need accommodations to complete the application process.

Disabled individuals have rights well beyond the right to receive reasonable accommodations at work. Even during the application process, there are laws in place to help protect people from discrimination. You should understand all of the stipulations to ensure that you aren’t discriminated against.