Employers' Responsibilities Under the ADA.

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in:

  • job application procedures
  • hiring
  • firing
  • advancement and compensation
  • job training 
  • other conditions, and privileges of employment such as use of a cafeteria or social events

The ADA does not interfere with your right to hire the best qualified applicant. Nor does the ADA impose any affirmative action obligations. The ADA simply prohibits you from discriminating against a qualified applicant or employee because of disability.

Who is Protected?

Title I of the ADA protects qualified individuals with disabilities from employment discrimination.

Under the ADA, a person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, walking, caring for oneself, learning or working.

The ADA also protects individuals who have a record of a substantially limiting impairment, and people who are regarded as having a substantially limiting impairment.

Qualified Individual with a Disability

An individual with a disability must also be qualified to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be protected by the ADA. This means that the applicant or employee must:

  • satisfy your job requirements for educational background, employment experience, skills, licenses, and any other qualification standards that are job related; and
     
  • be able to perform those tasks that are essential to the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.

Reasonable Accommodation

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment, unless doing would cause an undue hardship to the employer. Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an employer's size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.

Reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to:

  • Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
     
  • Job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position;
     
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.

 


 

-This information is from the EEOC website article: The ADA: Your Responsibilities as an Employer