What is Disability Harassment?
The law prohibits harassment due to an individual’s disability, history of a disability, or the belief he or she has a disability, even if that person does not have one. This is known as unlawful disability harassment.
Disability harassment becomes unlawful when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment.
Examples of unlawful disability harassment can include:
- Questioning contribution, value or worth on the job as a result of a disability
- Posting or telling jokes based on a person’s disability
- Verbal attacks or disrespectful, demeaning, or offensive comments
- Complaining about accommodations someone with a disability receives
- Spreading or perpetuating stereotypes about someone with mental disabilities
Who Can Be the Harasser?
Anyone in the workplace. The harasser can be a boss or supervisor, a boss or supervisor from another department, an individual’s co-workers, or even someone who does not work for the company. It can be harassment if a client, customer, or vendor who spends time at the workplace is being offensive, disrespectful, or hurtful. Employer knowledge is often key in these types of cases.
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