Americans With Disabilities Act



The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination by employers against qualified individuals with a disability. A person is deemed disabled if they 1) have an actual disability, 2) have a record of a disability, 3) are regarded as having a disability, or 4) have a relationship to a person with a disability.

A person has an actual disability if that person has any mental or physical impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity. A person with a record of a disability is one who has recovered from a condition that once substantially limited a major life activity. A person is regarded as having a disability if they are treated as though they have a disability, even if they do not. A person is protected if they have a relationship with another who is disabled, as defined in the other three definitions.

An ADA claim most often arises when an employee request an accommodation. So, how do you know when you, as the employer, must provide the requested accommodation? An employer is required to provide qualified individuals with disabilities with reasonable accommodations, if the accommodation will enable the individual to perform the essential functions of the job. A reasonable accommodation is any change to procedure, the job, or the work environment that permits a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the position. If no accommodation can be made in their current position, moving the employee to an open position for which they are qualified may be a reasonable accommodation.

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