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.
It is difficult to talk about workplace equity and diversity - or lack thereof - without mentioning Silicon Valley. Statistics show that the tech industry is predominantly white and male. Some companies and policymakers have been working to rectify this, but progress has been slow.
When you apply for a new job, did you know that you already have some rights afforded to you? For example, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you during the hiring process based on many factors, including race, sex, disability and religion. There are many steps to the hiring process, and your potential employer may not discriminate at any stage of the process. However, there is a caveat with certain jobs that have a "BFOQ," or bona fide occupational qualification, which basically means the trait in question is a necessity to the job itself.
If you've ever been left wondering whether a work incident constituted illegal discrimination, you are certainly not alone. Federal and state laws make it very clear that employers and potential employers cannot discriminate based a person's race, gender, age, disability or other protected status.