Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Snyder, L.A., Carmichael, J.S., Blackwell, L.V., Cleveland, J.N., Thornton III, G.C. (2010). Perceptions of Discrimination and Justice Among Employees with Disabilities. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 22 5-19.
Title:  Perceptions of Discrimination and Justice Among Employees with Disabilities
Authors:  Snyder, L.A., Carmichael, J.S., Blackwell, L.V., Cleveland, J.N., Thornton III, G.C.
Year:  2010
Journal/Publication:  Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal
Publisher:  Springer
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10672-009-9107-5
Full text:  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10672-009-9107-5   
Peer-reviewed?  No
NIDILRR-funded?  Not reported
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  People with disabilities have high rates of unemployment. Furthermore, those who are employed are often underemployed and earn low wages. Possible causes associated with this ongoing problem are discrimination and procedural injustice. Prior research has shown that increased levels of overt discrimination perception among employees with disabilities. Little is known about subtle types of discrimination. Not much is known about procedural justice either. Furthermore, little is known about the level of job satisfaction of workers with disabilities and whether or not a culture of support can reduce negative experiences. Research is needed.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to investigate whether workers with disabilities encounter more negative workplace experiences related to discrimination and injustice. It also examined the impact of perceived organizational and supervisory support. There were a total of seven hypotheses. "Employees with disabilities will report greater levels of overt and subtle discrimination than non-disabled employees. Employees with non-physical disabilities will report greater levels of overt subtle discrimination than employees with physical disabilities. Employees with disabilities will report higher levels of procedural injustice than non disabled employees. Employees with non-physical disabilities will report higher levels of procedural injustice than employees with physical disabilities. Employees with disabilities will report lower levels of job satisfaction than non disabled employees. Employees with non-physical disabilities will report lower levels of job satisfaction than employees with physical disabilities." p9 "Perceived Organizational Support POS and Perceived Supervisory Support PSS will moderate the relationship between disability status and the outcome variables of overt discrimination, subtle discrimination, and procedural justice, such that support will have a greater effect on disabled workers in terms of reducing their negative workplace experiences."p.10
Setting:  The setting was various work environments across a larger University campus.
Study sample:  University employees, (N=4,544) were asked to complete a survey about the work climate. A total of 1,880 surveys were completed. Participants included around 54% female and 84% white. Within this larger group ninety people self identified as "disabled". Sixty four reported a physical disability, 23 reported non physical disability and 3 did not reveal the nature of their disability.
Control or comparison condition:  A comparison was made about the perceptions of discrimination and injustice between employees with non physical and physical disabilities.
Data collection and analysis:  Overt discrimination was measured using an eight item tool related to the extent the person thought they had experienced discrimination at work using a five point rating scale. Subtle discrimination was measured using a 12 item tool and a Likert scale. Procedural injustice was examined using a seven item adapted scale about diversity. Job satisfaction was assessed with one item. Perceived supervisory and organizational support was measure using The Scale of Perceived Supervisory Support and Scale of Perceived Organizational Support.
Findings:  The findings supported the following three hypotheses. "Employees with disabilities will report greater levels of overt and subtle discrimination than non-disabled employees. Employees with disabilities will report higher levels of procedural injustice than non disabled employees. Employees with disabilities will report lower levels of job satisfaction than non disabled employees. The remaining hypotheses were partially supported.
Conclusions:  Workers with disabilities face many challenges in the workplace. Disabled employees report more discrimination and injustice than non disabled workers. Employees with non physical disabilities reported more negative experiences than those with physical disabilities. Perceived support on both the organizational and supervisory level may reduce workplace attitudes and perceptions about disability. More research is needed.

Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Race: Asian
Race: Black / African American
Race: White / Caucasian
Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino
Outcomes:  Other