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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Youth at Work

Here is an example of unfair treatment at work that may be based on a person's disability:


Steven has just started working part-time at a popular clothing store. Steven is one of 50 operators responsible for taking phone orders. All of the operators work in small workstations in one large room. Normally, employees are not assigned a specific workstation. Instead, employees chose their own workstations on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Because Steven uses a wheelchair, he has great difficulty moving up and down the narrow aisles. Even though Steven arrives 30 minutes ahead of his start time, he frequently cannot find an available workstation before his scheduled shift. Steven tells his manager, Andrew, about his problem and asks to be assigned to a workstation close to the door. Andrew tells Steven that the company does not give special treatment to anyone and suggests that Steven try coming to work earlier.

The clothing store discriminated against Steven when it refused his request for a reasonable workplace change that he needed because of his disability.

There is no indication that assigning Steven a workstation by the door would be too expensive or too disruptive to the company.