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Disability Discrimination in the Work Place


imagesDiscrimination is ugly, but it still exists in the modern workplace. This is particularly worrisome when you consider that there are laws in place to prevent this type of misbehavior. One law in particular is meant to combat disability discrimination in the workplace, and it’s called theAmericans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. This Act was signed into law in 1990 by Republican President George H. W. Bush. This was signed in order to protect workers from disability based discrimination.

Who Does This Law Cover?

Under the ADA, there are only a few people who are covered. These covered individuals include: an employee who has a disability, an employee who has a history of impairment, and an employee whom the boss looks at as disabled. If an employee has either a mental or physical impairment that greatly restricts a normal life activity, then he is protected under the ADA. If an employee has had a prior disability, then he’s also covered under the Act. Also, if an employee doesn’t have a real disability, but his employer incorrectly thinks he does have one, then the employee is still covered under the Act.The Definition of “Disability” as Defined by the ADA

A disability, as defined under the ADA, is a mental or physical impediment that significantly cuts down on one’s ability to enjoy life activities. These life activities include many ordinary events. For instance, even commonplace tasks such as communicating, bending, reading, and walking are considered life activities under the ADA. Even major bodily functions have been included under the ADA as components of significant life activities. These can include bladder, bowel, reproductive, endocrine, circulatory, brain and neurological functions. On the other side of things, if a mental or physical impediment isn’t viewed as severe enough to limit an individual’s life activity, then a person will not be covered under the Act.

An Employer Has an Undue Hardship Escape Clause

Under the ADA, an employer is obligated to give his disabled employee a reasonable accommodation. However, if the reasonable accommodation would instead end up creating an undue hardship on the part of the employer, then the employer is no longer obligated to do so. An accommodation of this nature can be an undue hardship if it is too costly or impractical. Factors that can impact whether the accommodation is an undue hardship include the employer’s financial resources, the nature of the specific business, and any and all accommodation costs already incurred in the place of business.

Without laws against discrimination protecting the disabled in the work place, discrimination against disabled people would be rampant all across the country. Thanks to the ADA, there are a number of safeguards in place that are aimed at making it tougher for employers to discriminate against people based on having a disability. The law protects people with a variety of disabilities from facing discrimination in the workplace.


Andrew Miller is an experienced Social Media expert and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also currently attending Law School with a focus on Environmental Law.

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