Disabled People Still Face Employment Discrimination


In a recent Canadian Review of Sociology Study, Prof. David Walters has found that disabled individuals continue to face discrimination on the job front. His study focussed primarily on recent graduates in the arts, engineering, and business who had self-disclosed their disabilities to prospective employers in sciences and health care fields.

Prov. Walters had two significant findings:

  1. Disabled individuals faced an unemployment rate twice that of their able bodied peer group.
  1. There was a significant gap in pay of $4000.00 between the disabled and their able bodied counterparts in the science/healthcare field within 2 years of graduation. That pay gap would presumably increase with time.
  1. The pay gap for the liberal arts graduates was $6000 versus their able bodied peer group.

Recommendations from the study include investigation into why there is a pay gap, and why there is a significantly larger pay gap for the liberal arts cohort than the science one.  Employer education is advised, along with counselling in college/university to the disable students.

This study is reflective of what many individuals face who become disabled after a car accident. Often they are removed from the workforce for an extended period of time, and may indeed need to retrain in order to find employment. When they do find work it is often lower quality and lower paid work (part time, no benefits, or contract). While it is difficult to say whether this is a result of the disability, the retraining, the changing job market, or a combination of all three factors the fact exists.

In Ontario it is not legal to discriminate against individuals on the basis of disability, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. However, it can be extremely difficult to prove such discrimination.

If you find yourself injured in a car accident and unable to do the work that you did prior to the accident you may be entitled to benefits from your insurance company to help you retrain to an equivalent level of job. If you or a loved one are injured in a car accident you should contact a lawyer immediately as many benefits are time sensitive. Firm timelines exist as to the claiming of them, and the process for filing claims can be extremely complex.

I am available to consult with you if you have been injured in a car crash. The first consultation is free. You can contact me via my website.

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