The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., prohibits employers from taking adverse action (for example refusal to hire, termination, or failing to promote) against an individual because he or she has a disability. However, not all physical ailments qualify as a disability.
To establish a claim under the ADA, you will be required to demonstrate that:
If your employer offers a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the adverse employment decision, you will be required to demonstrate that that reason is pretextual and that the real reason for the adverse decision was based solely on your disability.
To establish a disability under the ADA you are required to show:
Courts have been hesitant to classify a particular physical or mental impairment as a disability. The focus is not on what kind of physical or mental impairment you have; instead, the focus is on how that disability affects your ability to perform tasks. Each case is different and will require an individualized inquiry to determine if you are disabled for the purposes of the ADA.
Employers can violate the ADA by refusing to make reasonable accommodations for the known physical and mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability. Reasonable accommodations include:
However, employers are not required to make accommodations that are unreasonable or would impose an undue burden on them. You should speak with an attorney that specializes in employment law to determine if the accommodations that you seek or need are reasonable.
Not all employers are required to adhere to the ADA. The ADA only applies to employers that have 15 or more employees working each day at least 20 weeks in the previous year.
If you feel that you are being discriminated against on the basis of a disability, it is important to take immediate action to preserve your rights. You are required to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days after the alleged wrongful employment practice. If the EEOC investigates and decides they will not pursue your matter, they will notify you of their decision. Within 90 days of that notice, you can file a civil lawsuit against your employer in court.
If you feel your employer has discriminated against you because of your disability, you should protect your rights by contacting an attorney experienced in employment law. To request a confidential analysis by an Akron disability discrimination attorney, you may contact us by email, by completing our confidential Do I Have a Case? form, or by calling us directly at (330) 258-8000.