Forms of discrimination

Discrimination comes in many forms; however the way I suggest thinking about this is to consider how you feel about the behavior and how it makes you feel about your condition, your worth, yourself. That is when you might consider taking the matter further.

In the USA, there is a system in place to deal with harassment in workplaces that employ 15 people or more. If you are being harassed or discriminated against, you can file a charge with the EEOC. In most cases, you must make this complaint within 180 days of the event; if late, you can make a submission if you have a valid substantial reason for the delay. You can:

  • Contact the EEOC at 1-800-669-4000 or to learn about the filing process.

There are several types of Discrimination, as follows:

  • Direct and Indirect Discrimination 

​It's unlawful to discriminate against people who have 'protected characteristics', IC is considered a disability and treating someone less favourably because of this attribute is known as discrimination. As well as if you're treated less favourably because a colleague, associate, family member or friend has a protected characteristic. 

  • Failures to make accommodations

​Your employer, supplier, contract provider, local authority, school or others, might have to make adjustments to help you to carry out the service as well as someone without a disability. The American's with Disabilities Act calls this arrangement of ‘accommodation’. They can be changes to policies, working practices or physical layouts, or providing extra equipment or support. You are not required to make any payments for these adjustments. If the requested adjustments are not made, and you believe this is unreasonable for your disability, this may be considered discrimination. 

  • Harassment

​This means people cannot treat you in a way that violates your dignity, or creates a hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. For example, a person making derogatory and offensive comments about your bladder, the amount of times you go to the loo, anything with significant intention regarding your disability.

  • Retaliation

​This means people cannot treat you unfairly if you are taking action under the Act, or if you are supporting someone else who is doing so.

In a number of cases, discrimination may not be unlawful if for example it is an employer that can show that real consideration was given to the economic needs of running a business or similar significant factors, as well as the person. If the only argument is that it's more expensive not to discriminate then that's unlikely to be considered as a valid justification.