Fake Employment Letter Study Reveals Disability Discrimination

A recent article in the New York Times revealed a disconcerting finding and the uphill battle many face against employment discrimination. The conclusion comes as the result of a study conducted by researchers from Syracuse and Rutgers Universities. The researchers sent cover letters and resumes to thousands of employers from fictitious people seeking accounting jobs. In some of the letters, the researchers revealed that the candidates suffered from some type of disability, whereas in others, they did not disclose this fact. The resumes were identical otherwise.

Roughly 26% fewer employers expressed an interest in candidates who had revealed that they suffered a disability. One of the researchers commented, “I don’t think we were astounded by the fact that there were fewer expressions of interest … but I don’t think we were expecting it to be as large.”

The study reaffirms what many qualified workers with disabilities experience in their job searches – having a “disability” makes it harder to find a job. In fact, the most recent statistics show that only 34% of working-age people with disabilities have a job, whereas 74% of those without a disability do.

Further, the study showed that discrimination was most pronounced in workplaces with fewer than 15 employees – businesses that are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).

The ADA and the ADAAA specifically prohibit employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in any aspect of their jobs – this includes hiring, firing, or failing to promote. It also requires that your employer make an effort to reasonably accommodate your disability. If, despite your disability, you are able to do your job, either with no accommodation at all or with a reasonable accommodation, your employer must accommodate you.

For more information about the ADA or if you believe that you may have suffered any form of disability discrimination, the dedicated Georgia employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP are here to help. Please contact our knowledgeable Atlanta employment attorneys now for an initial case evaluation.