Researchers at Rutgers and Syracuse Universities have concluded that many employers still practice disability discrimination in hiring practices.
Scientists at each school created and mailed out fake resumes custom tailored to be perfect for the target jobs, but claimed a disability on half of them. The results were pretty conclusive as the experiment found that these “candidates” received call-backs about 26 percent less frequently than other applicants that did not list a disability.
“I don’t think we were astounded by the fact that there were fewer expressions of interest, but I don’t think we were expecting it to be as large,” said one of the Rutgers University researchers.
Intellectual vs. Physical DisabilityThe study did not find that either intellectual disabilities or physical impairments were particularly more discriminated against. Rather, the type of work determined whether a mental or physical disability would be prohibitive.
Scientists believe that the primary reason employers make hiring decisions that are discriminatory in nature is not out of malicious intent but instead have more to do with perceived longevity. Employers often view employees as investments, and sometimes wrongfully assume that an employment relationship with a non-disabled employee may last longer.
No matter the reason, researchers acknowledge that there is indeed a recognizable pattern of workplace discrimination that needs to be addressed more strongly.
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