Employment Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities

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  • Title: Employment Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities: Evidence from Matched Pair Testing
  • Author(s): Marc Bendick Jr
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review
  • Keywords: Wheelchairs, Field Experiments, Reasonable Accommodation
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 1447-9532 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1447-9583 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1447-9532/CGP/v17i01/11-25
  • Citation: Bendick Jr, Marc. 2018. "Employment Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities: Evidence from Matched Pair Testing." The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review 17 (1): 11-25. doi:10.18848/1447-9532/CGP/v17i01/11-25.
  • Extent: 15 pages

Abstract

In a situation-testing study, persons with and without mobility disabilities applied simultaneously for thirty-one sales positions at New York City clothing retailers. Nearly all applicants were treated courteously, but those with a disability were only 27 percent as likely to receive a job offer or otherwise advance as far in the hiring process as their equally qualified counterparts without a disability. Conscious or unconscious bias was documented by 41 percent of retailers tested. These findings demonstrate how employers’ perceptions, policies, and practices contribute substantially to the higher unemployment, lower earnings, lower labor-force participation, and widespread reports of discrimination for workers with disabilities. In contrast, some retailers’ employment of job seekers with mobility disabilities demonstrate that unbiased hiring of these workers in retail sales is feasible when employers follow “best practices.”