Disability at Work: A Look Back and Forward
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Purpose This article presents new evidence on employment barriers and workplace disparities facing employees with disabilities, linking the disparities to employee attitudes. Methods Analyses use the 2006 General Social Survey to connect disability to workplace disparities and attitudes in a structural equation model. Results Compared to employees without disabilities, those with disabilities report: lower pay levels, job security, and flexibility; more negative treatment by management; and, lower job satisfaction but similar organizational commitment and turnover intention. The lower satisfaction is mediated by lower job security, less job flexibility, and more negative views of management and co-worker relations. Conclusion Prior research and the present findings show that people with disabilities experience employment disparities that limit their income, security, and overall quality of work life. Technology plays an increasingly important role in decreasing employment disparities. However, there also should be increased targeted efforts by government, employers, insurers, occupational rehabilitation providers, and disability groups to address workplace barriers faced by employees with disabilities, and by those with disabilities seeking to return to work.