Jobs and careers are important to everyone. We all need something to do to pay the bills. Some of us grow up believing it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re providing for your family. Some grow up believing that the work you do is not worth doing unless it’s something you enjoy. Then there are those who are down the middle -- they believe that if you can’t do what you love to do, do something until your dream job or career becomes available to you.
Some of us start a business, even though we may have no clue how to go about it. We do so with the mindset that it’s something we love to do; we get paid to do it, with the added perk of being our own boss.
To some of us, failure is not an option. We have to do something with our lives and for our families. People who are differently able are dealt a difficult hand and sometimes that hand leaves us between a rock and a hard place.
Sometimes we are left not so much with the choice of not so much doing what we love but sometimes with people who don’t want us around. Sometimes we are left doing work that is not our first choice, and with coworkers who we feel may not want us around.
Due to the Americans with Disabilities Act,many workplaces, whether willing or not, are required to consider applications from anyone who believes they are qualified. If workers are unable to perform the tasks required, there is cause for termination, but someone cannot be terminated just because he or she has a disability.
Under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and by title 1 and title 5 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, qualified individuals in the workplace are protected from discrimination on the basis of their disability in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits and from any disability related harassment.
Some people who face discrimination decide to keep quiet if theretheir termination from a job was due to discrimination because theymay not understand how to go about filing for discrimination or because of a lack of proof. They may also get so frustrated about being terminated that they let it go until they forget about it. Others feel threatened or trapped and refuse to stand by and let someone else face discrimination, so they go to the state’s department of labor office to file discrimination charges.
If you feel you are facing discrimination, make sure that you keep these things in mind:
- How do the employees and employer act towards you? Are they avoiding you or your questions? Do they act differently around you than they do around other employees?
- Are paperwork and negotiations concerning your employment and pay either changing or being delayed?
- Have you noticed a decrease in the work being assigned to you?
These are signs of discrimination, and if it can be proven, it should be brought to the attention of your superiors as well as the Department of Labor.
With proof and with the help of the Department of Labor, you don’t need to lose your job due to discrimination, and you can finally support your loved ones and be involved in a career you love.
While looking for work, think critically about what you’re good at and enjoy doing. Once hired, make sure to keep your eyes open for signs of discrimination. If you are in a position that you are qualified to do and enjoy, but find yourself facing discrimination, contact your local Department of Labor and get them involved.