The American Disability Act (ADA) forbids employers from discriminating against workers or applicants with disabilities in all facets of jobs, including hiring, compensation, promotion, dismissal and more. It further protects employees against retaliations as they exercise their rights under the law.
The ADA also requires companies to provide adequate accommodation for employees with disabilities as long as it does not bring undue inconvenience to the employer. The ADA defines what the impairment is, which employees are covered by statute, where accommodation is required, and what causes unnecessary hardship.
Private employers with a minimum of 15 workers must obey the ADA. However, several states have similar legislation that could extend to smaller employers.
The ADA will cover the following employees:
- An employee with a disability. If an employee has a physical or mental disability that greatly restricts a primary life activity, he or she is covered.
- Employee with an injury record. An employer cannot discriminate against an employee on the grounds of his or her prior disability (for example, an employee who has had breast cancer
- An employee who the employer views as disabled. This is valid even though the boss is mistaken, and the employee is not disabled. If the employer discriminates against the employee on the grounds of a false assumption that the employee has a disability, the employee is covered by the ADA.
The ADA also has a strict provision for privacy. Employers must retain confidential personal records relating to employee disabilities and medical background of staff. Health history and all documentation containing disabilities information must be kept in a protected medical file separate from the personal file. Employers are therefore unable to report that the employee has demanded or is in possession of an appropriate accommodation.
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