Do you suspect that your employer passed you over for a promotion because of your disability? You deserve fair treatment; your experience, skills and education should be more important than your limitations. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects your rights as a worker, and failing to promote you due to a disability is against the law. It may be time to take action. Know your employee rights. 

ADA protection 

The ADA guidelines apply to you if your employer has 15 or more employees and one of the following is true: 

  • You have AIDS 
  • You have an impairment that interferes with physical activities such as walking 
  • You have limited sensory function such as low vision or a hearing impairment 
  • You have a history of disability 
  • Your employer believes you have a disability 
  • Your family member has a disability 

The law does not protect drug-users, even addicts in treatment. 

Employment practices 

The ADA states that employers may not discriminate against disabled persons in any facet of employment; this includes job assignments and promotions. Naturally, you must qualify for the promotion and meet the stated requirements for the job. Your employer should provide reasonable accommodations, which may include the following: 

  • Modifying the work schedule 
  • Providing an interpreter or reader 
  • Providing gear or modifying existing equipment 
  • Making the workstation accessible 

Employers are not required to make accommodations if doing so entails excessive difficulty or expense. They may decide not to promote you if there is evidence that, in the new role, your disability may present a direct threat to the safety or health of others. 

Your rights 

You have the right to advance your career. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you deserve the same opportunities as your colleagues. If your work history and expertise show that you qualify for a promotion, there is no reason for a disability to stand in your way. If your employer may be in violation of the ADA, you have the right to file a complaint. You can do your part to help stop discrimination.