Winton Strauss Law Group, P.C.
Call Us for Extraordinary Legal Representation
415-800-1551

Study shows discrimination against job seekers with disabilities

Many Americans living with a disability are reluctant to disclose that information if it can be avoided. It's not that they are ashamed or embarrassed of living with a disability. Instead, they know from firsthand experience that disability discrimination is a very real threat. Statistics from 2013 show that just 34 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities are employed, compared to about 74 percent of people without disabilities.

Some of this disparity could be attributed to disabilities that make it difficult or impossible to work a job. But that still leaves a significant portion of capable job candidates who face discrimination because of a disability that would have no impact on their ability to work. The results of a recent study suggest that disclosing a disability during the hiring process could dramatically reduce one's chances of finding work.

Researchers from two universities sent out thousands of fictitious résumés and cover letters for jobs in the accounting profession. The fictitious job seekers were substantially similar in all ways except one. In some of the cover letters, the fictitious candidates disclosed a disability. In others, they did not.

When a cover letter disclosed a disability, employers expressed interest in those candidates about 26 percent less often than for candidates with a cover letter that did not mention disability.

The cover letters experiment has been used successfully to research employment discrimination based on other characteristics as well, including race and gender. Previous research has shown that companies were less likely to be interested in job candidates with "black sounding" names, even if those candidates had stronger résumés than their presumptively white counterparts.

The Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act were both important pieces of legislation, but these laws have not done enough to end illegal workplace discrimination. Hopefully, studies like this one will compel employers to re-examine their own beliefs to determine if unconscious bias may be causing them to overlook qualified job candidates.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Legal Problems? We Can Help

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Winton Strauss Law Group
2 Ranch Dr.
Novato, CA 94945

Phone: 415-800-1551
Novato Law Office Map

Nevada City Office
224 Main Street
Nevada City, CA 95959

Phone: 415-800-1551
Map & Directions