Defending Disabled Employees

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A reflection on the contemporary workforce depicts its diverse nature as evident by the existence of employees drawn from various age groups, ethnic backgrounds, and religions. The diverse nature of the contemporary workforce emanates from the advancements in communications technology, which have transformed the market place into a global phenomenon (Robertson, 2015). As a means of enhancing cohesion in a diverse workforce, employees are expected to showcase decent behavior that does not infringe on another employee(s) rights and privileges. While it is true that exercise of decorum is critical in the workplace contexts, there are certain instances whereby certain employees exercise certain conduct in an innocent manner, which may be perceived differently by other employees. Managers have a colossal role to play in setting the tone in the manner in which the conduct of employees such as the comments levied on each other is countered.

Nature of Incident

While managing a diverse workforce, I overheard a worker asserting She just slows us down. This statement was about a disabled employee who performed his duties at a slower pace than other employees. As a manager, I would take action aimed at informing the employee who engaged in the behavior on the need to avoid such utterances because of the detrimental implications it may elicit. Precisely, I would approach the employee and ask him or her to meet me privately (at the managers office) once he or she has completed his or her duties.

Addressing the Problem

While it is true that creation of a more inclusive workplace remains essential across various work settings, negative stereotyping of disabled employees remains a pertinent concern. In most cases, stereotyping of the disabled arise from malice, and ignorance (Banks & Lawrence, 2006). The discussion with the employee involved in the behavior is likely to elicit varied reactions from him or her. Nonetheless, I will focus on specific points that would create an ample platform through which the employee would agree to change. More importantly, I will use Amendments in the Constitution such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, which expounds on the legal actions that may arise from stereotyping of disabled employees (Banks & Lawrence, 2006). In addition, I will emphasize on the fact that the mere fact that an employee is disabled does not mean that they are not able to perform assigned tasks as expected. In defense of his or her actions, I might receive pushback from the employee who might state that the disabled employee kills their morale because they are not well-abled as the non-disabled employees. The employee might also question the special treatment of disabled employees. Such a pushback would certainly change the course of conversation because it would prompt the need to inform the employee of the need to ensure reasonable accommodation for disabled persons, which is a legal requirement (McMahon & McMahon, 2012).

Ethical Implications

Organizations are legally prohibited from stereotyping against employees with disabilities. Unfair treatment, even when it unintentional can result in a law suit, which could be detrimental to an organizations image. For this reason, if the behavior manifested by the employee discussed herein continues, the organization might be sued by the disabled employees. There is a need to note that existence of such ethical implications creates a toxic environment, which limits employee productivity. Nonetheless, timely training of employees on matters aligned with different ethical implications can curb law suits aligned with the same. Toxic environments also manifest amongst employees who are stereotyped; hence, hindering their performance to their potential (Brodhead & Higbee, 2012).


Banks, P. & Lawrence, M. (2006). The Disability Discrimination Act, a Necessary, but not Sufficient Safeguard for People with Progressive Conditions in the Workplace? The Experienced of Younger People with Parkinsons disease. Disability & Rehabilitation, 28(1):13-24.

Brodhead, M. & Higbee, T. (2012). Teaching and Maintaining Ethical Behavior in a Professional Organization. Behavior Analysis in Practice (Association for Behavior Analysis International, 5(2): 82-88.

McMahon, B. & McMahon, T. (2012). An Overview of Workplace Discrimination and Disability. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 36(3): 135-139.

Robertson, G. (2015). Unlawful Discrimination in the Workplace. Legaldate, 27(3), 4-6.

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