The employment discrimination experiences of adults with multiple sclerosis

Richard Roessler, Phillip Rumrill, Mary Hennessey, Steven Nissen, Jeanne Neath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


With assistance from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) National Capital Chapter in Washington, DC, 200 adults with MS responded to a survey regarding their experiences with employment discrimination. Fifty nine of the 200 respondents (29.5%) indicated that they had experienced discrimination on the job. The primary types of employment discrimination included failure by employers to provide reasonable accommodations on the job (48%); unfair rules related to working conditions, job environment, or employment privileges (44%); denial or delay of promotion (41%); different or harsher standards of performance (39%); assignment to inappropriate job tasks or duties (39%); restriction to a certain type of job (32%); receiving excessive supervision or oversight on the job (30%); refusal to hire due to MS (29%); unfair compensation and wages (27%); forced retirement (27%); and unfair access to fringe benefits (25%). Respondents tended to inform co-workers or employers about discrimination but rarely indicated any positive outcomes from their efforts to remedy the situation. Although somewhat confident in their ability to cope with discrimination except in instances of bringing and succeeding in legal action, participants tended to be uncertain to only slightly in agreement with statements pertaining to the sup-portiveness of employers. Implications for service interventions and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-30
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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