Indianapolis, IN asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Indiana

Q: I feel like I was discriminated against by a potential employer for being socially awkward. Do I have a case here?

I recently applied and interviewed for a job. I was told by the manager in a follow-up phone call that I was not hired because I was socially awkward. I asked the company's HR department if that was a legimitate reason not to hire some one. They told me that they would investigate, and later informed me that they reprimanded the management at the store to which I had applied. They encouraged me to apply again in the future. But I still do not trust that I would not and am not being discriminated against. I do have diagnosed ADD which does contribute to some social awkwardness, but I am a socially functional human being. I did menion this fact during the interview. Do I have grounds for any sort of civil suit? I legiminately feel that this particular store will continue to discriminate against me and others with ADD or those with disabilities.

1 Lawyer Answer
Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch
  • Valparaiso, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: You most likely do not have any sort of grounds for a civil suit. The only possible grounds that you might have is that you were discriminated against due to a disability, in this case that your diagnosed ADD is so severe that it constitutes a disability and has a major and severe impact on your everyday life. However, the store manager would have had to have known that you were disabled in order to have discriminated against you based on that reason.

There are two problems here. 1. You admit here that your ADD does not interfere with your life in a major way that would constitute a disability and 2. It does not appear that the manager knew that you had ADD, nor did the company. Not hiring someone because the manager believed that the interviewee is socially awkward is an acceptable reason not to hire someone.

I'm also unsure as to what exactly your damages would be in this situation. It may be best just for you to move on and find employment elsewhere. You should consult with an attorney experienced with discrimination lawsuits to investigate all of the relevant facts. My assessment here is based on the limited facts you have presented here.

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