The ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act, bars employers from discriminating based on a worker’s disability. Simply put, employers cannot refuse to hire a qualified worker because of a mental or physical disability, and they cannot terminate workers for those reasons. The ADA requires businesses to reasonably accommodate disabled workers; it does not require employers to make all accommodations necessary for a disabled worker to do their job.
People Protected by the ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act defines disability as a mental or physical impairment that puts substantial limits on a person’s life activities. Although courts originally had a narrow definition of disability, an amendment to the ADA reversed that definition. Today, the ADA covers traditional disabilities such as paraplegia and bipolar disorder, and newer disabilities such as HIV, cancer, learning disabilities and alcoholism.
The ADA covers workers with an employer-perceived disability. For instance, a cancer patient whose condition has improved to the point where their daily activities are no longer limited would still be protected under the act. To be deemed disabled, a worker does not have to prove an incurable disability, or that they have to keep regular doctor’s appointments. If you want to learn more about the ADA, you can get additional info here.
Employers Required to Follow the ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act covers state and local government entities, private companies, employment agencies and labor unions. It also applies to any company that employs more than fifteen workers. The Federal government falls under separate regulations; a disability attorney in Chattanooga TN can help you understand which laws may apply.
Can Employers Require Medical Exams?
Under the act, employers cannot require potential employers to undergo medical examinations. However, after work has begun, the employer can ask a new hire to submit to a job-related medical exam. Testing for the use of illegal drugs is excluded from the ADA.
According to the act, reasonable accommodations include:
1. Modification of facilities to make them handicapped-accessible
2. Hiring interpreters and readers
3. Modifying work schedules
4. Reassignment of disabled workers
Hiring a Lawyer in Cases of Discrimination
Due to the imbalance of power between an employer and a worker, discrimination can be very intimidating. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of a mental or physical impairment, a disability attorney at McCarthy, Murphy, & Preslar, P.C. in Chattanooga TN can help you protect your rights, and they can represent you in court if necessary.
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