Is disability discrimination in the workplace always obvious?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2023 | Discrimination At Work

In a diverse workforce, it is only right to address the issue of disability discrimination. While some instances of discrimination are obvious, others may be more subtle. These can unfortunately be just as harmful.

It is important to recognize that discrimination is not always blatant. Understanding the more covert forms of discrimination can help foster inclusivity. It is a meaningful step toward a better workplace.


One subtle form of disability discrimination involves stereotyping and preconceived notions. Employees with disabilities may encounter assumptions about their capabilities. Managers might assign tasks or make decisions without considering an individual’s unique abilities. This can hinder career advancement for workers with disabilities.

Inadequate accommodations

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. This ensures they can fully perform their job duties. However, instances of inadequate accommodations can still occur. It might involve not providing the necessary tools or technology. It can also include failing to make adjustments to the work environment. This lack of accommodation can subtly marginalize individuals with disabilities.


Microaggressions are subtle expressions of discrimination. In many cases, these subtle acts are unintentional. They can easily create a hostile work environment. Coworkers may use insensitive language or make comments that belittle individuals with disabilities. Many believe these comments are harmless. However, they can contribute to an atmosphere of exclusion.

Unequal opportunities

Individuals with disabilities may face unequal access to professional development. This may be exclusion from training programs or limited exposure to advancement opportunities. Discrimination in this form can hinder the long-term success of workers with disabilities.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported 25,004 disability discrimination charges in 2022. Discrimination based on disability is unfortunately common in the workplace. It is important to be aware of the signs of discrimination so everyone can enjoy an amicable work environment.