Is it better for a Massachusetts worker seeking some workplace accommodations to suffer from an overtly evident physical disability or from an ailment that is less noticeable?
That question likely strikes many readers as odd and perhaps even a bit insensitive.
It is posed for a point, though, and that point is this: Many workers across the country say that they suffer unduly from workplace disability discrimination because the condition that limits them in some capacity is less than immediately noticeable to their employer.
A recent article authored by National Public Radio visits that subject matter and what NPR denotes as "invisible disabilities." Conditions that fit under that umbrella are many and various, including things such as chronic fatigue, internal complications, persistent pain, lupus, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
As noted by NPR, many employers in the United States simply don't respond to such ailments with sympathy or understanding. In fact, recent research analysis from one prominent university indicates that invisible conditions underlay more complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over a recent five-year period than any other cause.
One commentator in the NPR report (an advocate for disabled workers) notes that employers sometime reject requests for workplace accommodations based on invisible disabilities on grounds of company policy.
And that's problematic in any given situation, he says, because a person suffering from a disability "is asking for an accommodation they're entitled to under the law."
Both state and federal laws exist that prohibit discrimination at the workplace, including disability discrimination. A proven attorney experienced in handling discrimination claims can provide further information and aggressive and knowledgeable assistance to any person who is suffering from on-the-job discrimination.