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How Do Michigan Disability Discrimination Laws Protect Employees?

Discrimination is never okay. That is why there are laws in place to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace. In addition to federal regulations, the state of Michigan has its own laws regarding disability discrimination. The ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) is a federally mandated civil rights law prohibiting discrimination and guaranteeing equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. This act was enacted by Congress in 1990.

Discrimination in the workplace can be extremely detrimental to a person’s physical and emotional well-being, as well as their ability to complete their work efficiently and to the best of their ability. If you have faced disability discrimination in the workplace, Marquette disability discrimination lawyer for legal advice and representation.

What is the Michigan Disability Discrimination Law?

Michigan laws around disability discrimination can be found in the Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act of 1976 (PDCRA). This act defines and clearly states the rights of those with disabilities. The intended purpose of this law is to prohibit any discriminatory practices or policies in a variety of situations including employment. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC) was created to better identify and eradicate discrimination in employment, education, housing, etc. They work to prevent discrimination in their state, including disability discrimination.

How is “Disability” Defined in Michigan Laws?

The PDCRA defines a disability as:

  • A physical or mental characteristic that may be a result of disease, injury, birth condition, or disorder
  • That significantly limits general activities throughout the person’s life

This definition does not include characteristics that were derived from the abuse of alcohol or illegal controlled substances.

What is Reasonable Accommodation?

The ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. An accommodation could be any alteration of the workplace environment physically or the policies and processes of the office. If it is within the employer’s ability to make the changes financially and logistically, they are legally required to do so. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include the following.

  • Installing a handicap parking space
  • Installing a handicap bathroom stall
  • Installing a ramp
  • Providing sign language interpreters
  • Including closed captioning during meetings or events
  • Allowing a flexible work schedule
  • Altering job tasks
  • Allowing a service animal to accompany an employee

What Do I Do if I Have Been Discriminated Against in the Workplace?

Always contact a reliable attorney if you are dealing with discrimination in the workplace. A lawyer can assist with filing a complaint to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. It is vitally important to build a strong case with irrefutable evidence in order to get the justice you deserve.

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