Emplyement Disability Harassment

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about handicap parking:

Can a coworker ask to know my disability and question my handicap parking slot? This was asked of a person that takes questions to a meeting to get results.

Signed, Annoyed

Dear Annoyed:

Your question, no doubt, hinges on the laws regarding medical privacy and disability. We provide answers regarding workplace communication and we don’t give legal advice because we are not attorneys. Your question is more appropriately one for the legal arm of your employer.

Therefore, I advise that you take this to your Human Resources Department. I expect that you will be told that any coworker can ask about why you have a handicapped slot and will then be told no more than that you have a slot because you have a parking permit for the disabled.You don’t say if your employer or one in management then disclosed your specific disability. In light of regulations regarding medical privacy, disclosure of what is the nature of your disability probably will be left up to you. Once you learn what your HR or Personnel say about disclosure of your disability, you can then respond appropriately. Because you are disabled, you may already know there are many sites that address this topic, such as: US Department of Labor Disability Nondiscrimination Law Advisor http://www.dol.gov/elaws/odep.htm ODEP – Office of Disability Employment Policy Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic http://www.dol.gov/odep/faqs/employers.htm#5 Facts about the Americans with Disabilities Act http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-ada.cfm NOLO Law for All http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/disability-discrimination-workplace-overview-of-30123.html Probably your best tact is to ignore the individual who asked such a question or to politely say, “It’s my business. I’m here to work and that’s why I have a special permit.” I trust that you have the kind of support from you employer that makes you want to go to work each day, and that you, by your example, will help your coworkers to be better informed and understanding about the disabled. Please tell us what you learn and we will it pass on this to our readers. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden