What constitutes discrimination based on disability?

UPDATED: Aug 18, 2011

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What constitutes discrimination based on disability?

During an employment interview at an amusement park, a position was being discussed until I mentioned my epilepsy I told them that I was unable to drive and it would be helpful if I was scheduled so that I could use public transportation. The interviewer then changed direction and offered me quite possibly the worse position they have. I feel as if the interviewer was trying to get me to refuse employment with them.

Asked on August 18, 2011 Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Federal law prohibits discrimiantion against the disabled. Discrimination includes being given worse or lower paid jobs than others. However, it's important to bear in mind that an employer's only obligation is to make "reasonable"--i.e. not too costly or too disruptive--accomodations; an employer does not need to employee someone in a position if it's simply not practical. An issue  her would be:

1) The job you were offered--is that the only reasonable one you could do if you are subject to epileptic attacks? For example, it may not be safe to let you operate rides or work as a fry cook if you could suffer an attack. (By the way--I know very little about epilepsy, so my apologies if I am mistating the impact of the condition.) If you couldn't not safely do other jobs, this may be reasonable.

2) The impact of the scheduling you requested--if the mass transit schedule means you can't do other jobs than the one you were offered because you couldn't make the shift, then again, it may be reasonble to offer you the job they did.

On the other hand, if you feel that you could do other jobs with reasonable (not disruptive or too costly) accomodations, then you may have a claim, and may wish to consult with an employment attorney. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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