Disability discrimination is when you are treated less well or put at a disadvantage for a reason that relates to your disability. The treatment could be a one-off action, the application of a rule or policy or the existence of physical or communication barriers which make accessing something difficult or impossible. The discrimination does not have to be intentional to be unlawful.
Disability includes :
The law protects people who have had a disability in the past and those who, because of an existing medical condition, may have a disability in the future.
There are six main types of disability discrimination:
This happens when someone treats you worse than another person in a similar situation because of disability. For example:
Indirect discrimination happens when an organisation has a particular policy or way of working that has a worse impact on disabled people compared to people who are not disabled. Indirect disability discrimination is unlawful unless the organisation or employer is able to show that there is a good reason for the policy and it is proportionate. This is known as objective justification. For example:
Under the Equality Act employers and organisations have a responsibility to make sure that disabled people can access jobs, education and services as easily as non-disabled people. This is known as the ‘duty to make reasonable adjustments’.
Disabled people can experience discrimination if the employer or organisation doesn’t make a reasonable adjustment. This is known as a ‘failure to make reasonable adjustments’. For example:
What is reasonable depends on a number of factors, including the resources available to the organisation making the adjustment. If an organisation already has a number of parking spaces it would be reasonable for it to designate one close to the entrance for the employee.
The Equality Act also protects people from discrimination arising from disability. This protects you from being treated badly because of something connected to your disability, such as having an assistance dog or needing time off for medical appointments. This does not apply unless the person who discriminated against you knew you had a disability or ought to have known. For example:
Discrimination arising from disability is unlawful unless the organisation or employer is able to show that there is a good reason for the treatment and it is proportionate. This is known as objective justification. For example:
Harassment occurs when someone treats you in a way that makes you feel humiliated, offended or degraded. for example:
Harassment can never be justified. However, if an organisation or employer can show it did everything it could to prevent people who work for it from behaving like that, you will not be able to make a claim for harassment against it, although you could make a claim against the harasser.
This is when you are treated badly because you have made a complaint of discrimination under the Equality Act. It can also occur if you are supporting someone who has made a complaint of discrimination. For example:
Federal Laws prevent a landlord from discriminating against a disabled person, whether their disability is physical or mental. A potential landlord isn’t allowed to ask questions about your disability or ask for proof of your disability.
A landlord doesn’t have to make modifications that would make the space unusable by a future tenant. One compromise is to make accommodations temporary, so that they can be removed at the end of your lease. The landlord must approve any tenant improvements ahead of time.
The landlord is entitled to ask for medical proof that the modification is necessary, such as a note from your doctor. The doctor doesn’t have to explain why you need the accommodation, only that the modification is necessary.
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