Amazon Discrimination Againts the Disabled
Amazon Discrimination Againts the Disabled
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Have you been a Victim of Disability Discrimination at Amazon?
Do you feel you’ve been the victim of discrimination at Amazon because of a disability or a perceived disability?
If so, here’s what you need to know.
What is a disability?
Not every physical or medical condition qualifies as a disability under the law.
According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a person can show that he or she has a disability in one of three ways:
• A person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity (such as walking, talking, seeing, hearing, or learning, or operation of a major bodily function).
• A person has a disability if he or she has a history of a disability (such as cancer that is in remission).
• A person has a disability if he or she is subject to an adverse employment action and is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor (even if he or she does not have such an impairment).
What is disability discrimination?
Disability discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, or the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, treats a qualified individual who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because he or she has a disability.
Disability discrimination also occurs when a covered employer or other entity treats an applicant or employee less favorably because he or she has a history of a disability (such as a past major depressive episode) or because he or she is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor (even if he or she does not have such an impairment).
The Americans with Disabilities Act
As the US Department of Labor explains,
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government’ programs and services. As it relates to employment, Title I of the ADA protects the rights of both employees and job seekers.
Both federal and state laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in relation to:
Does a disabled person have special workplace rights?
The law requires employers to provide disabled employees with “reasonable accommodations,” unless doing so would cause significant expense or difficulty for the employer (“undue hardship”).
Reasonable accommodations can include things like:
According to the EEOC,
Undue hardship means that the accommodation would be too difficult or too expensive to provide, in light of the employer’s size, financial resources, and the needs of the business. An employer may not refuse to provide an accommodation just because it involves some cost. An employer does not have to provide the exact accommodation the employee or job applicant wants. If more than one accommodation works, the employer may choose which one to provide.
Can you be asked about your disability during a job interview?
The law limits interview questions related to disabilities. As the EEOC explains,
an employer may not ask a job applicant to answer disability-related questions or take a medical exam before extending a job offer. An employer also may not ask job applicants if they have a disability (or about the nature of an obvious disability). An employer may ask job applicants whether they can perform the job and how they would perform the job, with or without a reasonable accommodation.
After an applicant is offered a job, the employer may condition the offer on the applicant answering disability-related questions or passing a medical exam, but only if all employees considered for the same type of job must answer the questions or have the exam.
Disability Discrimination and Harassment
As the EEOC notes,
It is illegal to harass an applicant or employee because he or she has a disability, had a disability in the past, or is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor (even if he or she does not have such an impairment).
Harassment can include offensive comments about a person’s disability. However, says the EEOC,
Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren’t very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
Disability Discrimination at Amazon
As Reuters reported, an Amazon employee from Oklahoma filed a complaint with the EEOC and the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission, alleging pregnancy and disability discrimination. She said she was forced to take a leave from her job at a fulfilment center when supervisors denied her requests for accommodations, including a transfer to a less-demanding position.
As hg.com reported, an Amazon worker with a prescription for medical marijuana for anxiety and panic disorder was fired after taking a drug test and sued for disability discrimination.
Legalreader reported on an Amazon employee who was told by a supervisor that he couldn’t wear tinted glasses prescribed by his doctor for glaucoma, even after he produced a doctor’s note. He sued for disability discrimination.
The Seattle Times reported on a fired Amazon employee who sued over lack of bathroom access. The employee
asked managers for flexibility in the company’s break schedule to accommodate bathroom needs stemming from his Crohn’s disease — a painful, chronic and unpredictable inflammatory bowel condition.
But instead, a supervisor accused him of stealing time and he was fired, he alleges in a lawsuit against the company charging discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Kentucky law.
A blind woman and the National Federation of the Blind sued Amazon for disability discrimination after the woman tried to apply for a virtual customer service position and couldn’t complete the online assessment because the platform wasn’t accessible.
What can you do if you experienced disability discrimination at Amazon?
If you’ve experienced disability discrimination at Amazon, call attorney Cj Rosenbaum at 212-256-1109, text 212-256-8492, or email CJ@AmazonSellersLawyer.com. You can also submit a summary of your situation online .
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