Disability Discrimination

Did you know that a survey conducted by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) showed that 73% of employers admitted to discriminating against the disabled and older individuals?  Shocking?  Not really – if you consider that 63% of disabled individuals are out of work!

The Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act (PWDCRA) prohibits discrimination against individuals because of their disability status.  “Disability” is defined as “a determinable physical or mental characteristic of an individual that substantially limits 1 or more major life activities of the person and is unrelated to the person’s ability to perform his job.”

To win on your disability discrimination claim, you must be able to show the following:

  •          You are disabled as defined by the PWDCRA;
  •          The disability is unrelated to your ability to perform your job; and
  •          You were discriminated against because of your disability.

Some of the disabling conditions that have been recognized by Michigan courts include:

  •          HIV/AIDS
  •          Heart Disease
  •          Obesity                                     
  •          Cancer
  •          Drug addiction and alcohol
  •          Visual, Speech and Hearing Impairments
  •          Mental retardation/autism
  •          Diabetes
  •          Emotional illness
  •          Multiple Sclerosis/Muscular Dystrophy
  •          Epilepsy
  •          Anxiety-related disorders

These cases largely turn on one central issue:  Can you perform your job, with or without a reasonable accommodation?   If you can, then you may not be treated differently than your fellow workers.  Compensation for damages suffered as a result of being the subject of disability discrimination includes:

  •          Reinstatement of the employee;
  •          Payment of back wages;
  •          Full reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights;
  •          Actual damages;
  •          Front pay; and
  •          Attorney fees.

Disability discrimination cases are complex, time-intensive and expensive.  If you feel that you have been discriminated against by your employer based upon a physical or mental disability, you need to call an aggressive, experienced, and proven trial lawyer – Vince Colella.  You can reach Mr. Colella at his toll free number 1.800.MUSTWIN or at 248.945.0100.

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