Americans with Disabilities Act


Practice Area

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. This act includes private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor organizations, and labor-management committees. 

Through the ADA, employment practices like recruitment, hiring, firing, promotions, training, job assignments, benefits, pay, and other employment-related activities must be inclusive to individuals with disabilities.

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What Would be Considered a Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act?

As a disabled individual, you are entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace that will help you complete your daily job-related and life tasks. Some of these reasonable accommodations include: 

  • Flexible or modified work schedules 
  • Adjustment of training materials and employee policies
  • Providing new or modifying existing equipment 
  • Making the workplace more accessible to people with disabilities 
  • Job restructuring
  • Reassignment to another position 
  • Providing interpreters
  • Travel and hotel accommodations

If these accommodations are not met by your employer you may have a legal claim against them.

What Happens if My Rights are Violated Under the ADA?

Your rights as a disabled individual aren’t restricted to the workplace.  You have some options if you feel you have been discriminated against due to a disability outside of the workplace. You can file a complaint against non-ADA compliant: 

  • Public or Private Schools 
  • State or Local Government Programs
  • Shops and Restaurants 
  • Doctors Offices
  • Hotels and Airlines
  • Entertainment Venues

Should I Hire an ADA Lawyer?

The Americans with Disabilities Act is constantly being expanded upon, so trying to file a claim on your own, especially if going up against a large corporation, can be very intimidating and overwhelming. Because of this, hiring an experienced lawyer specializing in ADA can be incredibly helpful in building your case. 

An attorney will assess your case and inform you on whether or not you have a claim against the discriminating entity. Not only that, at Mizrahi Kroub, we’ll be able to advise you on what kind of benefits you might be eligible for under the ADA. 

Additionally, we’ll file the lawsuit, help recover potential legal damages or remedies, discuss legal resources, and provide you with representation during a dispute or in court. 


Who Qualifies For Disability Under the ADA?

Under the ADA, an individual is considered disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities like caring for oneself or performing manual tasks. Impairments limiting an individual's ability to participate in major life activities include blindness, deafness, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, and cancer. 

Additionally, those with mental illnesses that significantly affect their daily functioning may also be covered under the ADA. The law also applies to individuals with addictions, such as alcohol or drug use disorders. Finally, the ADA covers those with frequently episodic conditions, such as diabetes or epilepsy, when the condition significantly impacts them even during periods of remission. In addition, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are automatically considered disabled under the ADA. 

What are Reasonable Accommodations?

A reasonable accommodation is a change in either the work environment or how a job is conducted to enable an employee living with a disability to exercise their rights as per the requirements of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Employers are not allowed to ask about your disability, but if you start the conversation, they can determine what accommodations you need in order to conduct essential functions of the job.

Reasonable accommodations vary based on the size of the employer, the impact on co-workers, and the cost of the accommodation. An accommodation considered reasonable by one employer may not be practical in another work environment. The main issue is whether your accommodation will create an undue hardship for your employer.

Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:

  • Modifying work schedules
  • Modifying equipment or devices
  • Making the work environment accessible
  • Providing flexible leave policies

Reasonable accommodations depend on the nature of your work and disability. Some reasonable accommodations do not directly pertain to the immediate work environment. For instance, your employer can allow you some time off if your disability requires several doctor's appointments.

Can An Employer Investigate a Prospective Employee to Prove Disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from asking questions about a potential employee's disabilities. This means that a potential employer should not ask you to take a medical exam or ask if you have any disability. If the disability is obvious, the employer should not inquire about its nature or severity.

However, your employer can ask if you can perform a job-related function. They can also ask you to demonstrate or describe how you will conduct your duties with or without reasonable accommodation. These questions may allow you to inform your potential employer about the limitations that can prevent you from performing your job. You do not have to disclose that you have a disability if you prove that you can perform job-related functions.

Does the ADA Consider Safety Issues?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows employers to determine standards that eliminate individuals who are likely to threaten the safety of other individuals at the workplace, particularly if the threat cannot be reduced by offering reasonable accommodations.

However, the employer should not just assume the risk exists. The threat must be established through objective using medically supported evidence. The ADA balances the employers' interests with those of individuals with disabilities to maintain a safe workplace. For this reason, excluding an individual for safety reasons should not be based on fear, ignorance, stereotypes, or generalizations.

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