When you go to work, you have the right to do your job in an environment that is free from mistreatment and other types of harassment. This is true regardless of your gender, age, religious practices and other factors, including hearing impairment. Deaf or hearing impaired employees have rights in the workplace, and they should not experience harassment over their physical limitations or experience discrimination in any form.
As a deaf employee, you may benefit from having an awareness of your rights in the event that you experience discrimination. You do not have to suffer in silence, but you can take steps that will allow you to hold your employer accountable and seek a beneficial outcome to your case. You do not have to navigate these complex matters alone.
What can your employer know about you condition?
If you are hearing impaired, you may wonder what your employer can ask you about your medical condition when applying and during the course of your employment. When an employer asks intrusive or inappropriate questions, it may be considered discrimination on the basis of your hearing. During the interview stage of the employment process, a potential employer cannot ask the following questions:
- Whether you have had any medical procedures related to your hearing
- Whether you currently wear hearing aids
- Whether you have a condition that impacts your hearing
While an employer cannot ask you certain questions about the state of your hearing, he or she does have the right to inquire about your ability to do the job for which you are applying. This may include questions about your ability to communicate well, function in a loud environment and whether you can meet the safety standards associated with the job. Before you accept a job in Hawaii, you are not legally obligated to disclose a current or past disability.
Fighting back against discrimination
If you believe that you are the victim of discriminatory treatment at any point in the employment process, you do not have to remain silent. There are legal options available to you that will allow you to fight back, hold responsible parties accountable and possibly seek appropriate compensation. You may benefit from an explanation of your legal options and the most effective steps for your individual situation.