How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11248
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
60109343
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Patrick, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

She only started treating me with such disrespect when I

Customer Question

She only started treating me with such disrespect when I showed her a doctors note about my eye condition. All reviews before that were exceptional. And reviews since then have mentioned time over time about my lack of being able to over see the classroom.......which was never a concern before the doctors note. When discussed in a performance review, my boss was incredibly rude, belittling, condescending, and made me feel like a loser because i cant see as well as her. She never mentioned anything about vision related behavior before the note.....all i received were letters of commendation about what a great teacher and asset i was. I don't know if my boss thinks her ass is on the line if something should happen that I wouldn't perhaps see, but this kind of harassment is completely unjustified. I have never lied in my jobs. I have had this condition my whole life and have held full time positions since before I was 20. I have never slacked, have always been an exemplary employee, and I have recommendations from patients, employers, and coleagues, to demonstrate that. I even went back to school to receive a masters degree, taking on debt, to ensure my continued employability, getting a degree in early childhood education for children with disabilities. Having a disability myself, it was very easy to understand and grasp, however, HCESC does not seem to agree that my skills are up to par. Thankfully, the staff at College of Mt St Joseph doesn't think that way since a visiting professor was still able to teach classes without her sight. My employer treated me with the most disrespect and made me feel so humiliated and so much lesser of myself even as a person, let alone as an educator, advocate, and professional. I don't wake up a day now without thinking about what a loser i am, even though there was no way for me to prevent this hereditary disease. Before her evaluation, after the doctors note, I was very confident with everything in my life. I had worked my butt off since I was a teenager, made money, made a career, changed my career because of my sight, but because i still wanted to contribute to society......paid my taxes, paid my dues, and then she tries to tell me i am not fit even though i started that job with this same issue, and had considerably positive reviews. Not to mention that I am working with disabled and/or challenged children. What better of a role model for them than to see one of their teachers overcome a struggle with a disability by being resourceful and teaching in ways that may be considered outside the box.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Good evening and welcome. I am sorry to hear about this negative review and the effect it has had on you. What is your question regarding this situation precisely? How can I help you?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I guess I am wondering about the laws protecting discrimination against those with disabilities, especially when there was no discrimination before the disability was revealed.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you.

It is illegal to treat an employee adversely because that employee is disabled. If you are able to perform your job well, have never had negative reviews, and now are receiving negative reviews and harsher treatment because you are disabled and for no other reason, that would be a violation of the law. The question at this point would be one of damages. Unless you are fired or suffer some other quantifiable financial loss as a result of this disability discrimination, your only recoverable damages are for emotional distress. I realize that the poor reviews and criticism you have received have been very difficult for you, but the standard for proving emotional distress is rather high, especially with today's juries who tend to be very skeptical of such claims.

For this reason, the best course of action at this stage is typically not to initiate legal action but to instead report your suspicion of disability discrimination to your boss's boss, or to the HR department if there is one. The report should be in writing--that way there is proof it was made--and it should outline the specific conduct that you believe is discriminatory and why you believe the motive is your disability.

Complaining about disability discrimination is a form of legally protected activity. What this means is that your employer will be legally prohibited from retaliating against you because you complained, and any adverse employment action which you can link to the filing of your complaint with give rise to an entirely separate legal claim for damages.

If and when it becomes time to take legal action, the first step is a complaint to the Equal Employmnt Opportunity Commission. This is actually a legal requirement before initiating a lawsuit. The EEOC will investigate and attempt to mediate a resolution with your employer. That not forthcoming, they will either file a lawsuit on your behalf or issue you a "right to sue" letter, which will enable you to sue in civil court with the assistance of an attorney.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

Related Employment Law Questions