The employment scenario: You have a disability and have requested certain accommodations at work. Your employer is now asking to see proof of your disability and/or asking for more specific details about your disability.
The question: Is an employer’s request for disability documentation legal?
The answer: Not necessarily.
Workplace Disability Disclosures
The Americans with Disabilities Act provides a variety of legal protections for a vast range of recognized disabilities, including protection from discrimination as an employee and as a job seeker. Here is a breakdown of your employment rights when it comes to disability disclosures:
- Job Seeker: A potential employer CANNOT ask you if you have a disability at any point during the hiring process and if they do, you have a cause of action against them. Keep in mind these questions can be obvious or discreet, but if the nature of any job interview question is aimed at finding out about any disabilities, they are strictly forbidden.
- Employee: As an employee, your employer can ask if you have a disability once you have accepted a job offer and then can ask additional questions as they relate to any need for a reasonable accommodation. The safeguard here is to only allow this line of questioning after the job has been offered (note: they are not then allowed to rescind the offer) and only as it relates to making it possible for you to do the job. Common reasonable accommodations include working from home, additional breaks, and/or special equipment.
Sometimes the employee feels comfortable sharing about their personal disabilities with their co-workers or employers and this is perfectly fine. The employee must be actively choosing to share this information, instead of feeling compelled to answer questions about it by an employer.
Ultimately, the safeguards put in place are aimed at protecting those with disabilities from being discriminated against at every level of the employment process—from hiring to promotions to terminations. If you are uncertain if you were discriminated against because of your disability or you think that may be the case, working with an experienced employment disability lawyer can help inform you of your legal options.
San Diego Workplace Disability Discrimination Lawyer
Whether it is at the hiring level or promotions, workplace disability discrimination is an all too frequent occurrence. If you feel like you have been the victim of discrimination because of your disability, do not hesitate to get in touch with San Diego workplace disability discrimination law firm Walton Law. Your initial consultation with us is always free and designed to answer your questions and inform you of your legal rights—we are ready to get started immediately.