Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Rumrill, P.D., Roessler, R.T., McMahon, B.T., Fitzgerald, S.M. (2005). Multiple sclerosis and workplace discrimination: The national EEOC ADA research project. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 23 (3), 179-187.
Title:  Multiple sclerosis and workplace discrimination: The national EEOC ADA research project
Authors:  Rumrill, P.D., Roessler, R.T., McMahon, B.T., Fitzgerald, S.M.
Year:  2005
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:  https://content.iospress.com/download/journal-of-vocational-rehabil...   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Database mining

Structured abstract:

Background:  Persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience significant workplace discrimination despite it being illegal under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In a national survey 73% of adults with MS believe they were treated unfairly in the hiring process, 58% were dissatisfied with the availability of reasonable accommodations, and 72% are dissatisfied with employers’ willingness to allow telecommuting as an accommodation.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study is to examine the employment discrimination experiences of Americans with MS.
Study sample:  The sample consists of 328,738 allegations of discrimination over 11.2 years that were on file in a database maintained by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Allegations of discrimination by people with MS numbered 3,669 cases and allegations of discrimination by people with general disability (GENDIS) numbered 170,941 cases that were to be used as a comparison group.
Data collection and analysis:  Descriptive statistics were used to describe the characteristics of the sample data from the EEOC. Chi-square tests were used to analyze proportions of discrimination alleged by people with MS and people with GENDIS.
Findings:  People with MS were more likely than the GENDIS group to allege discrimination based on reasonable accommodations, terms of employment, constructive discharge, and demotion. People with MS were less likely to allege discrimination based on hiring than the GENDIS group. The MS group was more likely to allege discrimination in finance/insurance/real estate. The MS group was more likely than the GENDIS group to have allegations resolved in their favor.
Conclusions:  Both employees with MS and their employers should be aware of the areas where discrimination is commonly alleged and work to find solutions to those issues as they come up before they turn into formal complaints.

Disabilities served:  Multiple sclerosis
Outcomes:  Other