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Employing the disabled takes commitment18 Apr 2012 06:18 am

disabled.jpgDerrick Morgan, who has cerebral palsy, worked as a manager for a California McDonald’s since 2006 but when new management took over things changed drastically for him.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the new owners of the Oakhurst restaurant, Alia Corp., illegally demoted Morgan and forced him the quit.

“This is a case where the company illegally stripped a well-qualified worker of his ability to earn a living due to misperceptions about his disability,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office.

Clearly there’s a problem in this country when it comes to employing individuals with disabilities. The unemployment rate for this group in March was 15.2 percent, almost double to the 8.1 percent rate for those without disabilities. And some experts have told me they suspect the joblessness among those with disabilities is much higher because many leave the labor force out of frustration.

And charges of disability discrimination filed with the EEOC have been rising steadily for the last decades, hitting a record 25,742 last year.

Morgan’s case goes to show that some employers are cool with employing disabled workers and some just don’t get it. Indeed, he was a valued employee to the previous owner.

It turns out there is a recipe that works when recruiting, hiring and keeping disabled workers, and a recent study sheds light on that approach. (more…)

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