Disability Discrimination in the Workplace


It’s unlawful for an employer to terminate or discriminate against a worker because of his or her disability. Even though it’s illegal to discriminate against an employee because of a disability, it’s still happening in Southwest Florida. Federal and State law prohibits an employer from discriminating against employees for a variety of reasons including one’s disability. If you have been fired or discriminated against because of a disability, speak with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible. Disability discrimination complaints are often time sensitive.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Private and public (government) employers have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means that they cannot discriminate against an employee who has a disability or ‘handicap.’ Discrimination comes in many different forms. If an employer fires you because of a disability, that’s discrimination. If you’re being denied aid, benefits or services that other employees are getting, that’s discrimination. Employers also have a duty to administer programs, services and activities that meet the needs of qualified employees who have disabilities. Since a variety of acts can be considered discriminatory, it’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer about your specific situation.

Florida Civil Rights Act

The Florida Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of a person’s disability. Employers in the public or private sector with at least 15 employees are subject to the Florida Civil Rights Act. In Florida, workplace discrimination issues are regulated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Florida Commission on Human Relations. Complaints with these agencies should be made promptly, because discrimination cases are time sensitive in nature.

Unlawful Retaliation

In this uncertain economic climate, many employees may feel insecure in their current job positions. They may not want to ‘rock the boat’ or cause any ‘trouble’, because they’re worried about employer retaliation. Thankfully, employees are legally protected from employer retaliation. That doesn’t mean it still doesn’t happen in some cases, so if you’re facing some kind of employer retaliation, you need to speak with an experienced employment law attorney immediately. A lawyer can be your advocate during this stressful time. Your employer likely has a law firm or attorney on retainer for handling legal issues, so you should have one too.

Legal Disclaimer: The above guidelines are educational in nature and do not create an attorney/client relationship. It is highly recommended that all Florida citizens with employment law issues contact an experienced local Florida employment law attorney to assist them with specific facts and circumstances regarding their labor and employment law matter. If you have been the victim of illegal activities at your workplace, then feel free to contact Attorney Rothman at Weldon & Rothman, PL toll free at (877) 730-5180 or via e-mail at info@weldonrothman.com

Bradley P. Rothman is an experienced Florida employment law attorney who has been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star.  He is a principal member of Weldon & Rothman, PL – a Southwest Florida law firm with offices in Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota.

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