Sherri, who is legally blind, fulfilled her dream of becoming a realtor.
Know Your Employment Rights: A Series of Q&A with Samuel Habib & Jen Eber
Have you ever wondered what employment discrimination really means, what you should do if you are asked about your disability during an interview, or what you should do if you are retaliated against for requesting an accommodation at work? Samuel did.
Watch as Samuel Habib, college student, documentary filmmaker, newspaper columnist, and disability advocate asks DRC-NH employment law expert, Jen Eber, about these and other employment related questions.
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Know Your Employment Rights
People with disabilities have the right to be free from discrimination in employment in the hiring process, during employment, and in the termination of employment. An employer is not allowed to ask a job applicant whether they have a disability or ask questions meant to elicit information about whether the applicant has a disability. An employer can ask whether you can perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation.
An employer cannot:
- ask an applicant whether they are disabled or about the nature or severity of a disability
- require the applicant to take a medical examination before making a job offer
An employer can:
- ask if an applicant can perform the duties of the job with or without reasonable accommodation
- ask an applicant to describe or to demonstrate how, with or without reasonable accommodation, they will perform the duties of the job
Once hired, an employee cannot take an adverse action against an employee on the basis that the employer knows or suspects that the employee has a disability. An employee with a disability has the right to reasonable accommodations that are necessary due to a disability so long as the employee is still able to perform the essential functions of the job.
Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- assistive technology like talk-to-text software
- taking additional breaks to relieve pain or handle medical issues
- providing a sign language interpreter
There are services available to help people with disabilities find and keep employment. NH Vocational Rehabilitation receives federal funding to help people with disabilities find competitive, integrated employment by providing rehabilitation services to eligible customers. Community Mental Health Centers can provide support to people with mental health conditions to find employment when their mental health condition prevents the client from finding a job independently. Area agencies provide services to people with developmental disabilities and/or brain injuries who need supported employment.
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that prohibits employers with 15 or more employees and state and local government employers from discriminating against people with disabilities. There is a similar federal law that protects federal employees.
New Hampshire also has an anti-discrimination law that applies to employers with 6 or more employees and our state government.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides federal funding to state vocational rehabilitation agencies to help people with disabilities find competitive, integrated employment. WIOA places specific requirements on the state agency about how they can use those funds.
How We Can Help
We provide legal advice on employment discrimination issues, how returning to work affects Social Security benefits, and access to services from NH vocational rehabilitation, community mental health services, and area agencies. We work to remove barriers to employment for people receiving SSI or SSDI due to a disability.
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EEOC Guide for Federal Employees Filing Employment Discrimination Appeals)  => Array ( [resource] =>
RAP Sheet Fall 2016: Getting to Work)  => Array ( [resource] =>
RAP Sheet Summer 2011: Getting a Foot in the Door)  => Array ( [resource] =>
Rap Sheet Winter 2006: Cracking the Job Market)  => Array ( [resource] =>
The Campaign for Disability Employment)  => Array ( [resource] =>
For employers and employees: Job Accommodations Network (JAN))  => Array ( [resource] =>
Employment Assistance and Benefits Planning through Granite State Independent Living
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To apply for services from NH Vocational Rehabilitation, contact your local office)  => Array ( [resource] =>
List of community mental health centers)  => Array ( [resource] =>
DRC-NH Flyer: Social Security Overpayments)  => Array ( [resource] =>
NH Leadership 2020 Employment Action Group Presentation: Your Next Employee)  => Array ( [resource] =>
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – The ADA: Your Responsibilities as an Employer)  => Array ( [resource] =>
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual with a Disability) )
For employers and employees: Job Accommodations Network (JAN)
To apply for services from NH Vocational Rehabilitation, contact your local office
DRC-NH Flyer: Social Security Overpayments
If You Need Help
Contact us if your think your employment rights have been violated or if you wish to speak with an attorney about a disability-related legal issue.