Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal


Employees with disabilities face stigma and stereotypes associated with their impairment. Revelation of a disability to obtain an accommodation can lead to negative consequences including harassment, retaliation, or even discharge, as documented by a survey of employees who requested accommodations at a university. This paper explores how difficult it is for employees facing such negative consequences to prove discriminatory intent under the Americans with Disabilities Act (hereinafter "ADA"). An extensive review of court decisions reveals that the ADA's protection against discrimination rarely provides relief to employees who suffer those negative consequences because the courts defer to employers' reasons for adverse actions taken against people with disabilities, and discount circumstantial proof of intentional stigmatization and stereotyping.



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