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3 causes of disability discrimination

Disability discrimination is unfortunately common in the workplace. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, discrimination against workers with disabilities can take the form of pay discrepancies, hiring or firing decisions, offensive remarks, failure to provide reasonable accommodations and unfair medical examinations. 

But why exactly is it so common for workplaces to be discriminatory toward disabled employees? Read more below on the roots of disability discrimination.

1. Cultural and societal barriers

One reason that disability discrimination is common is the fact that society often does not fully understand disabilities. This results in harmful stereotypes and stigmatization. These widespread attitudes toward disabilities can cause employees with disabilities to experience unfair treatment. A supervisor may have apathetic or harsh attitudes about disabilities and commit patronizing acts. 

2. Insufficient accommodations

People with disabilities often experience difficulty in public places because of a lack of access or accommodation. If disabled workers do not have safe methods for entering or leaving public facilities, it results in further ostracization in society. Employers must provide accommodations for employees to work safely and effectively. 

3. A cycle of unemployment

Individuals who have disabilities are much more likely to be unemployed. This is an underlying reason for disability discrimination because people who can work get denied the right to work. When this happens, it can create a cycle of unemployment and discriminatory practices that is difficult to escape. Also, the high unemployment rate of disabled people can cause hiring managers to have unconscious biases, causing them to turn down disabled people for jobs. 

Understanding the causes of discrimination against disabled people in the workplace can help disabled employees figure out what is going on at their jobs. Identifying the reasons for and consequences of discrimination can help workers with disabilities to determine when an employer is infringing on their rights. Anyone who is facing disability discrimination should consider legal actions they can take to enforce their rights.

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