Promotion to supervisor

I work for the company for 27 years
and am hard of hearing / deaf
employee. I have applied four times for
maintenance supervisor and had one
interview skip because of my hard of
hearing / deaf. They have prevented
me from job promotion to supervisor. I
believe they have violated my rights. I
felt they have created act of violence
and hate crime against hard of hearing
/ deaf. I believe any hard of hearing /
deaf have the right to be hire as a
supervisor. What should I do to get
promotion I deserve as a hard working

Asked on June 16, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, as a general matter, forget about the idea that a hard working employee deserves a promotion; there is no legal right or entitlement to a promotion whatsoever, and employers never have to promote you.
An employer cannot, however, discriminate against an employee, or treat him worse (including fewer opportunities) than other employees due to a disability. You may have a discrimination case if--
1) You can do the job with your hearing condition. If the nature of the supervisor job is that with your level of hearing (including whatever hearing aids, etc. you use), you could not do the job effectively, they do not need to offer it to you. They do not need to compromise productivity, quality, or safety to accomodate you.
2) You have whatever non-disability-related education, degrees, certification, experience, is required for the job; no matter what, you must be qualified for the job.
3) You are as or more qualified than the people they did hire or promote for that position: they are allowed to go with the best candidate.
4) There is no other reason you would not be promoted othet than your hearing--i.e. no poor performance reviews, no absenteeism, etc. They could you deny you a promotion for the same reasons they could deny it to anyone.
If the answers to all four questions above is "yes," so that yiu could do the job with your hearing but nonetheless were denied it only because of your hearing, you may have a discrimination case. In that event, contact the EEOC to file a complaint.

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