I covered much of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act in my previous post so you can review there for more information on what the act entails.
Here are the steps you will need to take to when filing a complaint:
- You first need to determine, or contact the EEOC to determine (see Disability Discrimination), if your situation is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Keep documentation of the discriminatory act. A request for a job, promotion, raise or accommodation must have been denied for you to file a complaint. An employer must be able to give an objective reason for the denial that does not involve your disability.
- Determine if your disability is protected. Not all conditions which a person may believe are disabilities are covered. The ADA covers both mental and physical disabilities which “substantially limits a major life activity”.
- File a complaint with the EEOC. In most situations, a case must be filed within 180 days of the incident. If there is a state or local law protecting disabled workers the EEOC complaint may be filed up to 300 days after the discriminatory act. Prior to filing a private lawsuit a complaint must be filed with the EEOC.
- Get legal representation. The EEOC will prosecute discrimination claims but they do not act as your legal representative. If you have a covered disability and feel you have lost a job or other benefit because of the disability you should contact an attorney. An attorney can help you determine if the employer’s action violates any employment discrimination law.
The EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has several great links you can refer to if you need to file a complaint due to discrimination under the ADA: