The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against an individual because of their disability. The ADA applies to employers who have 15 or more workers.
The law was enacted to make sure those who are disabled have the same opportunities and rights as others. One aspect of the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and qualified applicants.
The law indicates that a reasonable accommodation is a change that accommodates that individual’s disabilities so they can do their job without causing an undue hardship o their employer. An undue hardship is too much difficulty or expense. So, there can be some leeway regarding what is a reasonable accommodation but some kind of effort should be made.
As an example, you may have vision loss and require large print or a magnifier so you can see the application and paperwork, or if you have a hearing problem you may need everything in written form or a device to improve your hearing so you can understand everything that is being said or discussed. If you must take a pre-employment test, you may have a disability that requires you to need extra time. Any of these accommodations are reasonable and affordable, so the employer must make them available to you.
What To Do
When you apply for the job, they should ask you if you will need accommodations. You should indicate that you do, and clearly indicate what kind of accommodations that you are requesting so you can do the requested work or complete the required application or interview. You should keep a copy of the request for your records so that you can prove that you make the formal request and that the employer was given ample notice.
When you go for the interview, if they don’t have the accommodations you requested you should record what happened and document – in detail – how they failed to follow through with your request and neglected to accommodate you. You should indicate who you spoke with and who oversaw the interview.
Also make note of what was said regarding the accommodations. Be sure to jot down the details while it is still fresh in your memory.
While what is considered reasonable accommodations can be subjective, you can get creative and come up with a solution that is affordable and not time consuming. If you believe that you asked for a reasonable accommodation and your employer just blatantly denied your request, you can pursue a claim against your employer for their ADA violation.
How an Employment Law Attorney Can Help
If you believe that your employer violated the ADA and they didn’t fulfill your request for reasonable accommodations, you may want to enlist the help of an employment law attorney who handles ADA violations in your state. An attorney will be able to review the details of your case and gather the supporting evidence and file a complaint against your potential employer.
Often, when an ADA violation occurs, the employer will work to reach a settlement before the claim must advance to court. In addition to paying you for your damages, the employer can face civil penalties.
The maximum civil penalty for the first violation can be anywhere from $55,000 to $75,000. Any subsequent violation could lead to a fine of as much as $150,000. Chances are that if your employer has violated the ADA with you, they have also had similar violations with other workers. When you file your claim, there may be other employees who come forward to file complaints as well.
When you consult with an employment law attorney, they will tell you about their fees and when and how they expect to be paid. Some employment law attorneys who help with ADA violations will take the case on a contingency basis. In that case, they will not be paid until you win your claim and recover compensation for your losses.
You have limited time to pursue a claim for an ADA violation, so be sure to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today to share the details of your claim with an attorney who handles employment law claims in your area. Don’t delay getting the help that you need to get your claim on the right track in a timely manner. Don’t let your employer violate laws and mistreat you.