Employers aren’t supposed to ask about disabilities unless applicants bring them up. That’s to protect disabled applicants from preconceived notions about disability. But ignoring disabilities serves another function: Interviewers can later testify that company policy requires them to consider only qualifications.
Recent case: Evelyn Little, who walks with a limp, applied more than 20 times for jobs with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She was never hired and finally sued, alleging disability discrimination.
But one of the interviewers testified about the department’s practices, which included ignoring disabilities. He said he noticed her limp, but didn’t consider it. Little’s case was dismissed. (Little v. Texas Department of Criminal Justice, No. 10-07-00236, Court of Appeals of Texas, 10th District, 2010)
- Accommodate workers' eating needs when it's medically necessary
- What, if anything, should I do about off-work employee harassment?
- Firing due to 'romantic tension': Is it sex bias?
- Austin rates as one of best cities for LGBT rights
- Don't rush to judge accommodation requests; ADA requires interactive give-and-take