The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (amended in 2010) gives civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to protection provided to individuals on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion. ADA guarantees equal opportunity for people with disabilities in employment, state, and local government services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications. A person with a disability is covered under ADA if he or she has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits major life activity, or has a record or history of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.
Employment (Title l)
Employers with 15 or more employees may not discriminate against qualified people with disabilities in hiring, promotion, compensation, or any other aspect of employment. A “qualified person” is an individual with a disability who is able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodations. Examples of reasonable accommodations include modifying the employee’s work schedule, providing adaptive equipment, or any other change in the work environment that does not result in undue hardship for the employer.
An employer may not inquire about the medical conditions or disability of a job applicant prior to making a qualified job offer. Similarly, medical and psychological tests can be given only after a job offer, and only if such tests are directly related to the job. Drug testing of job applicants and employees is allowed under ADA. Employers may reject applicants or fire employees who pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace.
If you think an employer has denied you a job or an equal opportunity to apply for a job based on your disability, refused your request for reasonable accommodation, or has asked you illegal medical inquiries or required you to take an illegal medical examination, you should contact the EEOC. A charge (complaint) of discrimination generally must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. You may have up to 300 days to file a charge if a state or local law provides relief for discrimination on the basis of disability. However, to protect your rights, it is best to contact the EEOC promptly if you suspect discrimination has occurred.
You may file a charge of discrimination by contacting any EEOC field office, located in cities throughout the United States. If you have been discriminated against, you are entitled to a remedy that will place you in the position you would have been in if the discrimination had never occurred. This means you may be entitled to hiring, back pay, or reasonable accommodation. You may also be entitled to attorney’s