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How disability discrimination affects California workers

Thirty percent of all college-educated employees who work in white-collar jobs have a disability that is listed under the federal definition. According to a study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation, only 21 percent of workers who have disabilities actually report them to the human resources department at their place of employment.

Of those who have a disability, about 33 percent reported that they have experienced discrimination. In some cases, it was assumed that workers with disabilities lacked the skills need to complete a certain assignment. In other cases, it was assumed that it would take the disabled workers too long to complete a task.

The study also found that employees who have disabilities are generally more ambitious than those without. However, those with disabilities often find that the disability gets in the way of being able to build a career. For example, 57 percent of those who were surveyed reported that they felt "stalled" in their career versus 44 percent of those without disabilities. On the other hand, this means that employers are losing out on the contributions workers with disabilities could make simply because those workers may be afraid of discrimination.

When an employee is not presented with advancement opportunities due to disability discrimination, the employee may be prevented from making full contributions to the employer. Further, the employee may be unable to advance in his or her career even if he or she is more than qualified for the position. Those who have evidence of discrimination may have the grounds to file a lawsuit against the employer. An employment law attorney may assist with gathering evidence that proves that the employer discriminates against those with disabilities and may seek compensation for lost wages and other benefits.

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