The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination in employment against qualified individuals with disabilities. The law covers private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor organizations (unions), and labor-management committees. The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate in all employment practices, including recruitment, hiring, firing, training, job assignments, promotions, pay, benefits, and leave. Retaliation for asserting your rights under the ADA is also prohibited.
Disability Under the ADA
You are considered to have a disability under the ADA if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The ADA also protects individuals with a history of disability. To be considered a disability, it must cause a substantial impairment. This would include impairments that limit the ability to speak, walk, see, hear, breathe, perform manual tasks, and other major life activities.
To be covered by the ADA, you must also be qualified to perform the job in which you are employed. This means you must fulfill the requirements of the job, including education and experience. You must also be able to perform the essential functions of the position. An employer cannot refuse to hire you if you are unable to perform functions that are not essential to the job.
Among your rights under the ADA include the right to reasonable accommodations, which are changes or adjustments to the workplace that allow you to do your job. ADA regulations require that the accommodations be “reasonable” and not measures that require undue hardship in difficulty or expense. Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Modified work schedules
- Providing new or modified equipment
- Adjustment of training materials
- Adjustment of employee policies
- Making the workplace more accessible
- Reassignment to a different position
- Providing interpreters
Medical Exams and Questions
An employer cannot ask you about your disability if you are applying for a job. They can ask if you can perform the job duties without reasonable accommodation. An employer also cannot ask you to undergo a medical examination prior to offering you a job. However, an offer may be contingent on you passing a medical examination if all employees are required to do so.
Contact a Civil Rights Attorney
If you feel that your rights were violated under the ADA, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. There are important deadlines to consider regarding the ADA, so it is crucial that you act quickly. Gregg Goldfarb has been helping the injured for over 20 years. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.