Today, many law companies work on cases of discrimination against autistic people. It is necessary to change society’s attitude towards people with autism because many of them are discriminated against and stigmatized even at the workplace. WHO estimates that one in every 160 children with autism tends to persist into adolescence and adulthood.
Management should discuss the working process and culture not only with ASD employees but with others as well. There are many cases of “secret bullying” in a workplace that no one knows. Some workers ignore the autism employment law and show unethical attitudes to their colleagues.
Professional “Secret Bullying”
Moshes law company have outlined the most common forms of workplace bullying in the USA:
Attacks Based on Appearance and Behavior
This implies bullying someone because of their clothing, jewelry, tattoos, hairstyle, or general behavior, such as talking on the phone or behaving in meetings. Usually, women apply this type of bullying.
Accusations on Lack of Ethics
This type of bullying applies to the ethics of the victim. Usually, a person finds the “weak spot” for this purpose. It can include religious beliefs, sexual preferences, business relationships, decisions, and even parenting responsibilities.
A very typical form of bullying in the workplace. Employees are accused of incompetence or another inability to perform their duties. For example, someone hides important information, such as reports, emails, or passwords, and then accuse the ASD worker of being not professional enough to perform.
A person who bullies can also complain loudly that the ASD colleagues do not provide information or any documents. Such behavior does not create an autism-friendly workplace but rather disrupts it.
Stealing Professional Achievements
It is an attempt to steal or use someone else’s work and, at the same time, complain that he or she did everything by himself as an ASD worker does not do his duties. Such people try to isolate their victims from work meetings and gatherings. It allows them to present their victims’ achievements and documentation as to their own.
Upper-management should remind and educate about disability rights laws to all employees around the company too. For example, they must understand that calling someone “stupid” can lead them directly to the court case.
How to Work with Someone with Autism
Working with ASD can be a very rewarding and enriching experience for both managers and colleagues. However, autism awareness in the workplace can help avoid possible misunderstandings. Sometimes, they can occur due to the lack of communication between colleagues. Let’s consider the most common causes and how to react to them to create autism equality in the workplace.
- If a person seems disinterested during conversations with colleagues, it is not signs of ignoring others. Such behavior is almost certainly unintentional and is most likely related to the person’s communication difficulties.
- If a person begins to experience anxiety, try to determine the source. A face-to-face conversation is the best way to clarify this issue. The anxiety is likely to be unrelated to work responsibilities. Someone can experience anxiety because colleagues give too confusing and abstract instructions. Try to discuss the problem straight-forward to create an autism-friendly workplace and inspect the problems from inside.
- If a person is too actively trying to “fit into the team” and irritates his colleagues because he “gets involved” in other people’s conversations, show patience and understanding. If necessary, explain to the employees when they violate other people’s personal borders.
People with ASD can do a wide variety of jobs. Many of them successfully work in various positions like a journalist, accountant, administrator, etc. For example, Temple Grandin is not only a biologist and educator but even an autism advocate.
However, to achieve this success, they need to overcome certain difficulties, especially in the following areas:
– Social communication
– Social interaction
How to Report Discrimination in the Workplace?
- Get rid of emotions. Fear to report is a mistake that causes psychological problems in the future. Reporting is the right thing. Bulling – not.
- Make a record of offensive actions, if possible. It will speed up the process in the court.
- Report the discrimination to your upper management and EEOC by email or in-person to legalize the case.
- Get third-party help. If you feel that dealing with a case is too emotional, and you do not have power, ask the support of a third agency that can protect your rights.
Discrimination is a bias of the 21st century that must be eliminated to create an autism-friendly workplace. To protect yourself and others from bullying, we highly suggest you discuss your cases. If you were in trouble with discrimination, let us know. We cannot help you without knowing your case.