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Best approach to take when discriminated against on the job due to disabilities?

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Atul Kasana


( 7 months ago )


I have a hearing impairment, mild autism, and a few other impairments.

NOTE: This is not a current situation, but one that I faced in the past. An advice for how to act if this were a current employer would be ideal to help me or the next person facing such an issue

While these required very little in the way of accommodation, (light for the phone, blinking fluorescent lights replaced, et cet) I've felt that my employer was going out of their way to make things difficult for me with regards to my impairments, and I have some evidence to this fact. NOTE: They were aware of these needs and stymied me even when I tried to ameliorate them myself

  • Timed my use of the bathroom
  • Resisted efforts for me to have maintenance change buzzing florescent lights(They were aware of the fact this drives autistic people crazy, as I had discussed this with them)
  • Commenting "We already gave you a light for your phone" when I brought up difficulties that had cropped up.
  • Refusing me alternate means of recording notes to meetings (Hearing impairment + dysgraphia means that I cannot take notes)
  • Told me I was not allowed to take my medication at my desk
  • Told me I was not allowed to check my blood sugar at my desk, but had to walk across the building to the first aid station

and more, those were just the more egregious examples.

Other things included always approaching me on my deaf side, and staying there even when I told them it was my deaf side, publicly mentioning stimming, and other characteristically autistic behaviors, as well as refusing to accept or even review medical paperwork about the specific disabilities I have.

What steps could I take with management, HR, et cet. to protect myself?

What steps could I take on my own to protect myself/gather evidence on my own?

Also, what would be good resources outside of my employer to contact if I need to pursue this should my suspicions be confirmed?

Any insights from people who have worked in HR would be especially welcome.

This is a very large, multinational company.

Priya Roy


( 7 months ago )


From this link at

If your employer has ignored your request for an accommodation, your first step should be to make sure you were understood. Put your request in writing, addressed to your manager and the human resources department, and specifically mention the ADA. Explain that you have a legal right to a reasonable accommodation for your disability. Even though the law doesn't require you to be so explicit, your employer may not understand its obligations or may not have fully grasped your request.

If the employer doesn't respond to a more specific request, it's time to talk to a lawyer.

If your employer is accommodating your requests, but is "giving you a hard time", you may need to talk to a lawyer if your situation rises to a lawsuit level.

Otherwise, mentioning the ADA in writing each time you request an accommodation may put the employer on notice, and guide them to being more careful about your situation.

At the same time, it's probably best to seek out a more enlightened employer, rather than continue to put up with an uncomfortable situation. In my experience, many (not all, but enough) employers work hard to put all of their employees in a position to succeed.

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