Deaf and hard of hearing workers constitute one of many classes of workers that are protected by anti-discrimination rules established under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The legislation ensures the civil rights of Americans regardless of their disability.
The purpose of the ADA is to allow people with disabilities to be able to participate in society without restrictions imposed on their rights because of their disabled status.
Although the ADA does not list all specific impairments covered by the protections, it does state that it is meant to protect against discrimination based on a person’s physical or mental impairment that limits major life activities, a person’s history of impairment, or the perception that a person has such an impairment.
What Types of Disabilities Are Included in the Protections by the ADA?
Although there is no exhaustive list, some categories of disabilities safeguarded in the ADA include:
- Speech problems
- Mobility impairment
- Mental impairment
- Medical condition
- Neurological impairment
- Learning disability
What Are the ADA Rules an Employer Must Follow Regarding the Qualifications of a Job Applicant?
The ADA maintains that the qualification of a job applicant should be based on whether the applicant can perform the essential duties of the job with or without reasonable accommodations.
What Kinds of Employment Accommodations Are Specific to the Deaf or Hard of Hearing?
The ADA states that employees and job applicants should not be discriminated against for needing basic accommodations.
For workers who are deaf or hard of hearing, accommodations might involve providing adaptive equipment or enlisting the help of a translator in certain settings. The cost and implementation of these accommodations are not unreasonable and do not present an unfair burden on the employer.
What Are Examples of Discrimination Inflicted on Deaf or Hard of Hearing Job Applicants?
Employers are not allowed to ask a potential or current employee about hearing disabilities or other medical conditions. Job applicants have no obligation to disclose any information about such a condition to a potential employer. Job offers may not be rescinded if an applicant’s hearing impairment is discovered, unless the impairment would pose a safety risk to others on the job.
What May be Involved in the Process of Fighting Employment Discrimination?
Credible employment discrimination cases may be handled by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is a government agency charged with protecting the rights of American workers against discrimination in hiring and employment.
Those who believe they have been the victim of employment discrimination should file a charge with the EEOC against the employer. This charge must be filed within 180 calendar days of the discrimination incident.
The process involves the EEOC acting as an intermediary in negotiations between the employer and the individual claiming discrimination. If mediation fails to produce a resolution, EEOC investigators will further examine the claim.
For claims that are found to have merit, the commission will attempt to negotiate a settlement on behalf of the discrimination victim. If the prospect of a settlement is rejected, the commission may file a lawsuit.
If the EEOC opts not to pursue the case, the individual may bring a suit themselves.
South Jersey Employment Discrimination Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC, Assist Clients with Discrimination Lawsuits
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you have a right to be treated fairly by current or potential employers. Your disability should not hold you back or be counted against you professionally. If you believe that your disability was the basis for your not getting a job or promotion, you may have a case for employment discrimination. The South Jersey employment discrimination lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC, can help you understand your rights under the law and conduct a thorough investigation to prove that your suspicions are grounded in fact. To learn more about how we can help, call us today at 856-235-7075 or contact us online for a free consultation. With office locations in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Camden County, and throughout South Jersey.