The Language In Job Applications Is Problematic For Disabled People:

According to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Andersen Corp. is settling a discrimination claim that the business withdrew a job offer after learning of an applicant’s disability.

The agency announced in a news release on Wednesday that the Bayport, Minnesota-based window and door manufacturer will pay the man $41,000 and abide by a number of requirements designed to “build a more inclusive workplace for people with disabilities.”

According to the press release, Andersen withdrew a job offer in 2019 after determining an applicant could not properly operate a forklift. However, the man’s doctor stated that he could operate a forklift. In addition, using a forklift was not an essential aspect of the job.

Andersen will evaluate its job descriptions as part of the settlement, develop a policy for rescinded employment offer appeals, and provide anti-discrimination training to all workers. More than 13,000 people work for Andersen in North America. To ensure compliance, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights will monitor the company for the next three years.

Unfortunately, many job descriptions often include ableist language. Examples of such language include requirements such as lifting twenty-five lbs or having a driver’s license, even if the job itself doesn’t involve driving. As in the case of being a taxi driver or a pizza delivery person. I was turned down from a job as a receptionist at a local gym because I can’t lift 25 lbs.

When I encountered this language in job applications, sometimes I didn’t bother to finish the job application because I knew that it was unlikely that I would be selected. In addition, employers are often unwilling to make reasonable accommodations for employees. Last year, I didn’t get a job at a grocery store because I could not climb stairs.

Unsurprisingly, in September of this year, Americans with disabilities had a 7.3% unemployment rate, more than double the national average. Many disabled people want to work and can contribute in this way. We may require accommodations to do our jobs. This does not exclude us from being valuable assets to our employees. I wish more companies would embrace the diversity of having people with various disabilities as part of their workforce.


Johnson, Brooks. “State Settles with Andersen Windows over ‘Refusal’ to Hire Applicant with Disability.” Star Tribune, Star Tribune Media Company, LLC, 12 Oct. 2022,

Lu, Wendy. “How Employers Weed Out People With Disabilities From Their Hiring Pools.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 18 June 2019,

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