Monday, December 29, 2008

Discrimination based on Mental Disability and Impairment

Having a disability is difficult enough for anyone and being discriminated at work because of one’s medical condition makes it even worse. Similarly, disability discrimination is also an unlawful practice that has corresponding penalty under the law.

Consequently, taking unlawful advantage of one’s medical disorder at work is prohibited by law. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enumerate the medical conditions that qualify as disabilities, and hence, must not be used as basis to discriminate people.

These include the neurological disorder called Tourette syndrome. Tourette syndrome and other similar neurological conditions qualify as a disability under the law. As defined by the ADA, mental impairment means “any mental or psychological disorder such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, or specific learning disabilities”.

People with mental disability comprise a substantial part of the country’s population. In fact, nearly 4.56 million people are recognized as having mental retardation and developmental disabilities (MR/DD) and many of them are productively employed, thereby contributing to the nation’s economy.

If you experience discrimination because of your mental and medical condition, you can consult with an experienced discrimination lawyer in your area.