What is Perceived Disability Discrimination?
If you have an actual disability that requires accommodations to do your job, your employer has an obligation to make any accommodations that are reasonable under the circumstances. Sometimes, however, you do not need any accommodation to do your job, but your employer believes you have a limiting condition or disability, and may treat you differently based on that perception. This can be "perceived disability discrimination."
One example is if you return from a medical leave and your employer demotes or reassigns you based on an assumption that your condition prevents you from doing the work before your leave. Another example is if you have had a mental health condition and your employer refuses to accept that you are able to do your job, or treats you with suspicion and distrust based upon that mental health condition, even if it is under control.
Adverse employment actions (demotion, termination, etc.) based on an employer's assumptions about the impact of your condition on your ability to do your job can give rise to a disability discrimination claim under federal and Massachusetts law.
Learn more here about disability discrimination.
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