In 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dealt with 25,742 complaints that involved employees who were discriminated against because of a disability. The EEOC is the agency that enforces federal legislation and regulation regarding discrimination in the workplace.
And yet, the EEOC is being sued by a former administrative law judge because she claims that the agency discriminated against her because she suffers from multiple sclerosis.
The woman claims that she was given shorter deadlines to complete her work and not given a fair shot at promotions in comparison to her non-disabled coworkers. She also says the EEOC barred her from working from home, even though it could have greatly helped her ability to produce quality work and deal with her multiple sclerosis.
The woman's lawsuit says that the EEOC violated the Rehabilitation Act, which was passed to prevent just such a discriminatory incident from happening at a workplace that is federally funded (which the EEOC is). Initially denied, an appellate court overturned a lower court's ruling that the woman's argument of a Rehabilitation Act violation was invalid.
You would think that, of all the employers out there, the EEOC would be respectful to all of their workers and treat them fairly. If true, the woman's claims would greatly undermine the EEOC's mission.
It is an unfortunate reality that many disabled individuals face, but whether they are applying for jobs or already employed, they are often discriminated against. Even with the Rehabilitation Act and the more recent Americans With Disabilities Act on the books -- which makes such discrimination illegal -- there is evidence that a large percentage of disabled individuals are left out of the work force.
Source: Huffington Post, "Mary Bullock's Discrimination Lawsuit Against Anti-Discrimination Agency Most Ironic Lawsuit Ever?," July 31, 2012
- Our firm handles similar situations to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Houston discrimination page.