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Discrimination against Michigan employees with disabilities

Discrimination against a disabled employee or job applicant is prohibited when that person is denied an opportunity due to his or her disability. To qualify as discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the employee or job applicant must otherwise be qualified to fill a given position. Discrimination may also occur if an individual is denied an employment opportunity because of a relationship with someone who has a disability.

If a worker has a disability, an employer must make a reasonable effort to accommodate that employee's needs. However, that requirement may be waived if doing so would cause the employer an undue hardship. Examples of reasonable accommodations include modifying equipment or instituting a flexible schedule to allow an employee to seek treatment for their ailment or illness.

In addition to ensuring that an applicant is treated fairly in hiring and firing decisions compared to others, an employee may not be subject to harassment about his or her disability. For instance, if an employee were to be subjected to jokes about the disability or other unwanted attention, that may constitute discrimination. Anyone who works for the company or who is related to the company such as a customer or client may not engage in such behavior.

Anyone who has been the subject of jokes at work or who has been denied advancement opportunities due to employment discrimination may wish to contact an attorney. An employment law attorney may be able to help individuals get the compensation that they are entitled to under the law. For instance, it may be possible to receive any wages that were lost as a result of being terminated. In some cases, it may be possible for an employee to win his or her job back if desired.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Disability Discrimination", accessed on Feb. 21, 2015

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