Is America really the land of opportunity? That depends on your perspective. For some individuals with disabilities, who face discrimination in hiring practices, company policies, and workplaces, it may not be so simple.
“This is the land of opportunity for everyone,” said John Hendrickson, regional attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chicago District, regarding a recent discrimination case. A BP One Stop convenience store fired an employee who had to leave work to seek medical attention for her conditions.
In similar news, a Starbucks in El Paso, Texas, fired a barista with dwarfism who requested reasonable accommodation in the form of a small step ladder to perform her job. The company refused her request and fired her because of her disability. The EEOC has stepped in to advocate for this employee and her rights protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Other companies currently being sued by the EEOC for discriminating against individuals with disabilities include Affiliated Computer Services, Inc, in Indiana, ACT Teleconferencing Services in Colorado, and KobeWieland Copper Products in North Carolina.
While some companies are losing valuable employees because of their discriminatory practices, the Federal Government is stepping up to help workers with disabilities find jobs. With unemployment at over 9 percent, this part of the population with the lowest employment rate will benefit from federally funded education, training and job placement through state programs.