Disability Discrimination/Reasonable Accommodation
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (sometimes referred to as the “ADA-AA”) were enacted to assure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the labor market.
Federal (as well as state) laws protect employees from discrimination due to their disability provided they are “qualified individuals with a disability”, which is defined as an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question, despite their disability.
Federal law further defines a “disability” as:
- a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
- a record of such impairment; or
- being regarded as having such an impairment.
With regards to reasonable accommodation, the ADA explicitly states that the term “discriminate” includes “not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical and mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability.
Affording an employee reasonable accommodation is required to be an interactive process rather than a situation where the employer merely dictates what is to occur.
It is unlawful to retaliate against an individual for requesting reasonable accommodate or for complaining about disability discrimination.
- Were you an employee in good standing before you advised your employer that you had a disability, and then once your employer became aware of your disability your employer’s attitude towards you suddenly changed and your employer started going out of his/ her way looking for things that were allegedly wrong with your performance?
- Has your employer refused/ resisted/ unreasonably delayed affording you reasonable accommodation?
- Do you want to know how to most effectively (and most safely for your continued employment) go about requesting reasonable accommodation and/ or complaining about disability discrimination?
I have many years experience litigating ADA-AA claims in federal court, as well negotiating severance matters involving potential ADA-AA claims. I also have frequently advised current employees in ADA-AA matters, to inform them of their rights and to inform them of certain steps they should take to preemptively protect them from actions Employers may otherwise take against them in the future.
If you believe that you may have been subjected to discrimination/ harassment due to your disability, or if you are concerned that you may in the future be subjected to discrimination due to your disability, or if you need reasonable accommodation and are concerned that your employer will resist/ refuse your requests for same, then call me to briefly discuss if it makes sense for you to come in for an appointment to my Chicago loop office to further discuss your employment situation.