Disability Rights (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 and amended in 2008. Among its many provisions, the ADA protects workers from discrimination in the workplace. Employers are not permitted to base decisions regarding hiring, firing, promotion, work assignments, work shifts, training, benefits and other employment-related issues on a person’s disability or perceived disability.
Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP has represented workers in discrimination claims for the past 25 years. Our trial attorneys file administrative claims and lawsuits to hold employers accountable for discriminatory adverse employment decisions and failure to make reasonable accommodations.
Definition of Disability
To be entitled to ADA protection, a person must meet the ADA’s definition of “disability,” which is:
“A person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) clarified that “substantially limits” should be construed broadly and that an impairment need not prevent or severely restrict a major life activity to be considered a disability. However, not every impairment is a disability.
Whether an impairment can be mitigated through tools, aids and medication does not affect its inclusion in the definition of disability.
Employers are required to make changes to the work environment, assignments or workplace policies that allow a person with a disability to perform the duties of the job or to enjoy the benefits associated with the position. However, those changes must only be reasonable, meaning they do not unreasonably interfere with the regular operations, cost the employer unreasonable expense, unreasonably shift the work onto other employees or are otherwise an unreasonable hardship.
An employer might change the work environment by altering the workstation, assignments, shifts, processes, communication methods or duties to permit a person with disabilities to perform the main functions of the job. For example, a desk could be moved to a more accessible location. A guide dog or an interpreter might accompany the worker to the office. Physical activity might be limited. Training materials or repots might be provided in writing or verbally.
Learn More about Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
Learn more about workplace discrimination and reasonable accommodations. Call Schneider Wallace to schedule an appointment in our California, Texas or Puerto Rico office. Our trial lawyers regularly appear before state and federal courts on issues involving discrimination in the workplace.