The realm of employment discrimination law has been a hotbed for controversy concerning some of our most vulnerable groups for decades. Current events show no exceptions. Whether its sizing up the differences of opinion concerning freedom of religion and the rights of the LGBT community or protecting ex-cons from the unfair use of criminal background checks, employment discrimination carries with it some of the hottest topics and issues across the country.
Also hot around the country is the not-so-shocking round of research recently released showing rampant discrimination against disabled individuals individual in the workplace. One study showed tremendous bias against disabled workers in the accounting industry even when the perceived disability, Asperger’s Syndrome and autism, may have been an asset to the prospective position.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department settled its discrimination case against Bolivar County in Mississippi to the tune of $100,000. The County fired a correctional facility office after he disclosed that he had diabetes, ignoring his 20-year career history as a qualified applicant for the position.
This case brings up another hot subtopic within the arena of disability discrimination involving the decision to disclose disabilities to employers. The amount of bias and prejudice against disabilities is notably affects and limits the employment options of those who have disabilities. Some are deciding employment chances are better if those disabilities are not disclosed to employers.
Ageism and Racial Inequality in the Workplace
Still lurking in the periphery of employment discrimination cases and controversy are the age-old biases against mature workers and people of color in the workplace. Even as workers over 40, protected by Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, struggle to find work after layoffs and cutbacks in Social Security, employers are still using bias to make employment decisions, often exposing themselves to costly liability in so doing.