A recent study conducted by Rutgers and Syracuse universities has concluded that employers appear to discriminate against job applicants reporting a disability. The findings may help explain why only 34 percent of working-age people with disabilities were employed as of 2013, compared to 74 percent of those without disabilities.
Researchers conducted the study by sending ficticious cover letters and resumes to various accounting industry employers. The documents sent were identical with the sole variation of disclosing a disability. Of the thousands of jobs applied for, employers expressed interest in applicants disclosing a disability 26 percent less frequently than candidates who did not.
Although the results are discouraging, the study reflects that larger employers, subject to federal laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act prohibiting discrimination of the disabled in a broad range of employment matters, were more inclined to follow-up with disabled applicants. The study shows that fewer applicants were called back for an interview in workplaces with fewer than 15 employees, which may correlate to their exemption from the federal law.
If you believe you have been denied employment or suffered workplace discrimination based on a disability or for other reasons such as age, sex, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy or other protected statuses, contact the employment Law Offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson, PC for help. Our Davenport firm represents private and public sector clients in the Rock Island and Quad Cities areas in employment law matters including discrimination, wrongful termination, wage and hour claims, FMLA conflicts, whistleblower and retaliation cases and denied workers’ compensation claims. Contact us today.
Source: The New York Times, “Fake Cover Letters Expose Discrimination Against Disabled”, Noam Scheiber, November 2, 2015.