The Career Design Lab (CDL) is here to help you navigate your career planning and job search process. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a number of resources to help you learn about employment and disability. It is important to know there are laws that ensure non-discrimination and equal opportunity in employment. Many businesses and organizations are committed to employing people with disabilities and offer opportunities such as internships, mentoring programs and scholarships.
|How does the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to employment?||It’s important to understand your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against applicants with disabilities. It also protects employees, requiring equal access to opportunity in workplaces and academic institutions. If you are qualified to perform the work and have a disability, the ADA protects your right to find work, with or without reasonable accommodation.|
|Should I disclose my disability to an employer?||The ADA dictates that job applicants have no obligation to disclose their disability (and prohibits employers from asking about it). If your disability could impact job performance or necessitate accommodations, disclosing your disability would help your employer to understand your needs and abilities. Only disclose your disability on a need-to-know basis; this minimizes the potential for discrimination to play a factor in your employment. The Department of Labor (DOL) has many suggestions regarding when and how to disclose any disabilities you may have. It’s important to disclose your disabilities if you require accommodations to fulfill job duties, and employers are only obligated to provide accommodations if you adequately inform them about the related disability. Employers are usually appreciative of suggestions you may have about accommodations you may need.|
|What should I do if I’m experiencing discrimination?||
If you feel that you’ve been discriminated against due to your disabilities, whether during the application process or while on the job, you should contact the nearest office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and refer to the Disability Discrimination page on its website. The EEOC office may suggest mediation, and if the complaint isn’t resolved, they may file a claim against the employer for violating ADA regulations.