She promptly answered my calls, was easily accessible and was very supportive during these difficult times.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state anti-discrimination laws were created to eliminate barriers to employment for people with disabilities and those who are regarded as disabled.
What is a Disability?
Protection against disability discrimination is available to those who meet the definition of "disabled" under the ADA. Under the ADA, a person is considered disabled if a physical or mental impairment significantly limits him or her from one or more "major life activities." A disability can be a physical impairment, a chronic condition, a long term or serious illness. Certain mental or emotional conditions may also be disabilities under the law, such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit disorder.
If an employee does have a disability, the employer cannot discriminate the employee based upon the disability. For example, under ADA, employers may not discriminate against otherwise qualified individuals in:
- Any other condition of employment
The Perception of Disability
You do not have to be disabled to be the victim of disability discrimination. If an employer merely perceives you to be disabled or regards you as disabled even if you are not disabled, and based on that mistaken perception, has made an adverse employment decision such as refusing to hire you, firing you, failing to promote you, denying you compensation or taking other adverse employment action against you, the employer has violated the law and engaged in disability discrimination.
Failure to provide Reasonable Accommodations
An employer must provide reasonable accommodation for the employee so that the employee can do his or her job. This may be a physical accommodation or something as simple as a change in job schedule, depending on the situation. Examples of “reasonable accommodations may include:
- Restructuring the job
- Installing special equipment or making changes to the facilities
- Modifying the work schedule or restructuring the job (i.e. a shorter workweek, different work hours, or time off to go to medical appointments)
- Reassigning the employee
- Modifying or adjusting training materials or policies.
It is also illegal to retaliate against an employee for:
- opposing a disability-based discriminatory employment practice;
- complaining about disability discrimination;
- filing a charge or complaint of disability discrimination;
- testifying or participating in an investigation or proceeding involving disability discrimination.
If you believe that you have suffered discrimination and/or if you have reported discrimination and believe that you have been retaliated against, you may contact the Law Office of Louise A. Herman for a free consultation.