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New Study Exposes Discrimination Against Disabled Applicants

Researchers at Rutgers and Syracuse Universities have concluded from a recent study that employers readily discriminate against well-qualified disabled candidates.

The study consisted of researchers sending resumes for fictitious candidates to thousands of accounting positions. They created two resumes, one for a candidate with one year of experience and one for a candidate with 6 years of experience. Then, they created cover letters that revealed no disability, a spinal cord injury, or Asperger's Syndrome.

Researchers found that employers were 34 percent less likely to express interest in an experienced disabled candidate, but only 15 percent less likely to respond to a less experienced one. They also found that the decline in interest was the same for the physical limitation as the psychological one.

The study also showed that small businesses-those with fewer than 15 employees and not bound by the Americans with Disabilities Act-were more likely not to follow up with a disabled candidate. There was almost no discrimination at publicly traded companies and those that receive federal contracts.

What can you do if you suspect you've been discriminated in the hiring process based on a disability or special status, like race, religion or sex? Catching employers in the act of hiring discrimination depends on establishing a pattern of discriminatory behavior. Contact the EEOC to report your concern promptly. You have 180 days to make a complaint.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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