Protection against disability discrimination at work

The Fair Employment Law in Wisconsin prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee due to his or her disability. This law applies to almost all public and private companies regardless of how many employees it has. Furthermore, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act provides protection from disability discrimination to employees working for companies with more than 15 employees.

Discrimination could take the form of refusing to hire a worker due to a disability or using that person’s disability to determine his or her pay. Other forms of discrimination could include the failure to offer proper training or deciding to terminate an employee because of his or her disability. Furthermore, employers may not retaliate against an employee who asserts his or her rights under either law.

The law defines who is eligible for protection under disability discrimination statutes. Specifically, anyone who has a mental or physical impairment that makes performing the job more difficult may be considered to be disabled. An employee may be protected whether a disability is documented or an employee is perceived to have a disability. In some cases, it may be necessary to get documentation from a physician to determine if an employee has a disability that is covered under the law.

An employee who believes that his or her employer has violated the terms of a disability discrimination law may file a lawsuit against his or her employer. With the help of an attorney, it may be possible to earn compensation for lost wages and punitive damages. It may also be possible to win reinstatement to that employee’s prior position within the company. If an employee is reinstated, that employee may be eligible for benefits that may have been accrued if the employee had not been terminated.

Source: State of Wisconsin , “Persons with Disabilities on the Job“, November 21, 2014


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