Physical Disabilities in the Workplace
An employee faces so many challenges in the work place. This may include the rigors in the employment process itself, such as the meeting of a particular deadline, or the reaching of a particular quota.
However, aside from this production related challenges that a worker is faced, an employee also encounters certain problems referring to his or her relationship with the employer and certain occupational hazards that he or she may experience along the way.
As stated, the employment atmosphere is such a jungle that if you are inattentive and unaware of the dangers that are lurking within it then you could be a victim of a work hazard and suffer the consequences thereof. Such drastic consequences may include physical disability that would preclude the employee from doing what is incumbent upon him or her to perform.
The office of an employee requires him or her to be productive in the work place, and if the employee no longer functions as is expected of him or her, then the employer has the option of eradicating the services of the latter. However, as like any other right this prerogative of the employer to terminate the services of an employee could not be exercised without regard to the basic constructs outlined by our laws and the Constitution.
Discrimination because of physical disability is a prohibited act under our laws, and it is considered as an unfair labor practice that would actually bring about liability to the employer if the same is being practiced.
The fact that an employee has a disability is not a sweeping and roving justification that he or she may be dismissed at the whims and caprices of the employer. In fact, termination of services, or even constructive dismissal of an employee on the sole basis of his or her physical disability alone would be considered as falling within the confines of discrimination on the basis of physical disability and an unfair labor practice.
Disability is considered as an ample ground for the termination of the employee’s services. It must have the following characteristics: the said disability must be grave enough to cause the inefficiency of the employee, meaning that if an employee although having a physical disability can function and produce as like any other employee then there is no justification for his or her termination.
Another is that the disability although grave enough to decrease production must not be brought about by the hazards of employment, meaning that it must not be considered as an occupational disease, if so then the disability cannot be a ground for dismissing the employee’s services.