Employers (both private and government), employment agencies and labor unions are prohibited from discriminating against otherwise qualified people with disabilities, as governed by Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. This covers the job application process, hiring, compensation, training, advancement, employment privileges, firing and other aspects of employment. ADA regulations apply to employers with 15 or more employees, although some state and local anti-discrimination laws may have lower thresholds. The following ADA facts are meant to serve as a guide to your rights as an employee with disabilities.
As defined by the ADA, a disabled individual is someone who:
Also, employers may not retaliate against employees or applicants who oppose or speak out against discrimination on the basis of a disability or perceived disability.
Since by definition a disability substantially limits one or more of an individual's major life activities, disabled employees may require assistance in order to adequately perform their job. Employers are not required to hire disabled individuals for whom their employment would create an undue hardship, but the ADA guarantees the right to a reasonable accommodation.
An undue hardship, according to the ADA, is an action that would be significantly difficult or expensive relative to the size, financial stature and nature of a given operation. The provision of personal use items (i.e. eyeglasses or wheelchairs) is not considered a reasonable accommodation, nor is an accommodation that would result in lower quality or production standards.
Reasonable accommodations for a disability may include (but are not limited to) the following:
Additionally, protections of the ADA also cover the following:
To learn how to file an ADA discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), see Filing a Charge of Employment Discrimination.
More ADA Facts and Resources (EEOC)
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The preceding ADA facts and explanations are meant to provide a general primer on how the law's protections work. If you have additional questions or specific concerns, you may want to speak with an employment law attorney. Get started today with a free legal evaluation by a local attorney.
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