What is Disability Discrimination?
To claim protection under The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), a plaintiff must be a "qualified individual" who has been discriminated against on the basis of the disability.
What does "Qualified Individual" mean?
An individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires.
Employer Duty Reasonable Accommodation
Under the ADA, it is not enough for an employer to treat its disabled employees the same - no better no worse - than it treats its non-disabled employees, in appropriate circumstances, the employer must take affirmative steps that will allow disabled employees to perform their jobs.
What is a disability?
(1) A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of and individual;
(2) a record of such an impairment; or
(3) being regarded as having such an impairment.
Additionally, an individual meets the requirement of "being regarded as having such an impairment" if the individual establishes that he or she has been subjected to an action prohibited under the ADA because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity.
What are Examples of Disability Discrimination?
- Failure to accommodate for disability or medical condition
- Failure to grant someone leave entitled for them, for example, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Failure to hire a qualified employee due to his or her disability or perceived disability
- Discharging a disabled individual for requesting accommodations
- Failure to engage in the interactive process
What is the Interactive Process?
Once an employee communicates he or she has a disability and may need an accommodation, certain state laws require an interactive process between the employer and employee. On the employer side, this interactive process requires the employer to communicate with the employee in selecting an appropriate accommodation.
What Reasonable Accommodations should you expect?
Medical Leave or extension of medical leave
Allowing an employee the option of working from home
Modified work schedules
Adjustment of policies or additional training
- Interpreters or other required assistance
How Can the Daugherty Law Group Help?
With a strong presumption that employment is at will, the burden is on the worker to prove the exception, that he or she has been the victim of discrimination.
The federal statutes that protect employees ( Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, American with Disabilities Act, etc.) all have complicated procedural requirements as a prerequisite to filing suit. We can help evaluate your case, assist you though the procedural process, negotiate with your employer, and if necessary, represent you at trial.
If you believe you have been discriminated against, please contact our lawyers to discuss your legal options.