We live in a world where an individual’s capabilities and qualifications can be overshadowed by something over which there is no control–a disability. Sadly, this is a harsh reality for countless individuals in the workforce. Disability discrimination is a pervasive issue affecting job seekers and employees alike. That’s where the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) comes into play, offering a formidable shield against these kinds of practices.
The ADA–Your Shield Against Discrimination
If you’ve ever felt like your workplace rights were trampled upon, you’ve been treated differently, or you missed out on career opportunities due to your disability, the ADA is designed with you in mind. Enacted in 1990, isn’t just a law; it’s a lifeline for those who’ve faced discrimination. This federal legislation unequivocally makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on disability during the hiring process and throughout an employee’s tenure. One of employers’ most vital obligations includes reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
The ADA isn’t just a piece of legislation. It’s a legal sword and shield for those who have experienced discrimination based on their disability. Here are some of its vital provisions:
Protection for Qualified Applicants: Under the ADA, qualified applicants can’t face unfavorable treatment due to a visible disability, a perceived disability, or a history of disability.
Anti-Discrimination in Employment: Employers are strictly prohibited from discriminating based on disability in hiring, firing, compensation, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, or any other aspect of employment.
Preventing Harassment: The ADA safeguards disabled employees from offensive and harassing behavior by supervisors, co-workers, or customers. When such harassment becomes frequent or egregious, creating a hostile work environment, the ADA protects the employee.
Reasonable Accommodations: Employers are obligated to make reasonable accommodations in the workplace or work requirements to enable applicants or employees with disabilities to perform their job duties effectively and enjoy the privileges of employment.
Understanding Disability Under the ADA
The ADA defines disability as a physical or mental impairment substantially limiting a major life activity, such as walking, speech, sight, hearing, memory, or learning. This impairment must be of a lasting nature, persisting for six months or more, or the individual must have a history of a disabling condition, even if it’s currently in remission.
The ADA’s requirement for reasonable accommodations can encompass workplace modifications like wheelchair access or specialized equipment. Employers are mandated to provide these accommodations unless doing so would result in significant expense or create an “undue hardship”. The law is not always very clear on what constitutes undue hardship, which is why it’s so important to work with an attorney before sitting at any negotiating table.
Protecting Your Rights
If you believe you have faced discrimination by an employer due to your impairment, it’s essential to find the right legal team. Your attorney should not only be dedicated to holding employers accountable for violating the ADA, but they should be passionate about making lasting changes for the betterment of all disabled individuals. You need a champion to protect your rights and seek compensation for any economic and emotional harm you may have endured.
In pursuing equal rights and opportunities for workers with disabilities, the ADA stands as a pillar of protection. Understanding your rights under this essential legislation and seeking the guidance of experienced employment law attorneys like the team at Feldman Legal Group can help ensure that your workplace is free from discrimination and that your rights are upheld, regardless of your disability. Don’t let discrimination go unchecked. Your rights matter. Schedule a consultation by calling 1-877-946-8293 today and embark on the journey toward getting justice.