The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees and covers a wide range of employment-related issues. Here are the steps to understanding the ADA and how it protects employees:
Know the definition of a disability
Under the ADA, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as walking, seeing, or communicating. This definition is broad and can cover a range of conditions, from chronic health conditions to mental health issues.
Understand the types of discrimination prohibited by the ADA
The ADA prohibits several types of discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including:
- Refusing to hire or promote an individual because of their disability
- Firing or demoting an employee because of their disability
- Failing to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee’s disability
- Harassing an employee because of their disability
- Retaliating against an employee for asserting their rights under the ADA
Know your rights as an employee with a disability
Under the ADA, employees with disabilities have several rights, including the right to request reasonable accommodations, the right to equal access to employment opportunities, and the right to be free from discrimination and harassment.
Employees also have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if they believe their rights under the ADA have been violated.
Understand the process for requesting reasonable accommodations
If you have a disability that requires accommodations in the workplace, you can request reasonable accommodations from your employer. Reasonable accommodations are changes or adjustments to the workplace or job duties that enable employees with disabilities to perform their job duties effectively. To request an accommodation, you should notify your employer in writing and provide medical documentation of your disability.
Know how to file a complaint with the EEOC
If you believe that your employer has violated your rights under the ADA, you can file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate your complaint and may take legal action if necessary. To file a complaint, you should contact your local EEOC office or file a complaint online.
In summary, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the workplace.
To understand how the ADA protects employees, you should know the definition of a disability, understand the types of discrimination prohibited by the ADA, know your rights as an employee with a disability, understand the process for requesting reasonable accommodations, and know how to file a complaint with the EEOC.
By understanding your rights and protections under the ADA, you can ensure that you are being treated fairly and equitably in the workplace.