BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to investigate the patterns in allegations of workplace discrimination by individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). OBJECTIVE: To describe the discrimination, both actual and perceived, that has occurred against individuals with MS in comparison to a group of individuals with other disabilities (GENDIS) through analysis of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Integrated Mission System (IMS) database. METHODS: An ex post facto, causal-comparative quantitative design was used to examine Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) Title I complaints received by the EEOC from people with MS from 2009 through 2016 (n=4,000) in comparison to the GENDIS group over the same time period (n=139,728). RESULTS: The MS group was less likely to allege discrimination regarding discharge but more likely to allege discrimination regarding reasonable accommodation, constructive discharge, discipline, insurance benefits, and demotion. Charging parties with MS were more likely to be female, younger, and Caucasian and less likely to identify as African American, Hispanic/Mexican, or Asian. The EEOC was more likely to evaluate allegations by adults with MS as having merit than those filed by the GENDIS group. Implications for vocational rehabilitation practice include the need for consultation regarding recognition of on-the-job discrimination and procedures for filing allegations consistent with EEOC guidelines; greater use of physical and occupational therapy; and development of cognitive support technology strategies to aid in job performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Occupational Therapy