Like most in Sacramento, you likely take great pride in your career and your ability to thrive within it. That ability can be significantly hindered if you were to develop a disability or acquire one in an accident. Yet part of coping with a disability is being able to continue to do those things which you value (such as working). However, what if your employer tries to tell you that your new limitations prevent you from returning to work? The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits an employer from discriminating against you based on a physical or mental disability. What if your employer, however, claims that it is exempt from having to adhere to it?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lists the employers required to follow the mandates of the ADA. These include:
- State and local government organizations
- Private companies
- Labor unions and management committees
- Employment staffing agencies
Government agencies are required to adhere to ADA regardless of how many workers they employ. All other employers must have a minimum of 15 employees to be subject to ADA regulation.
So if it is established that your employer is indeed required to follow ADA regulations, what does that mean for you? As long as you are still able to complete the essential functions of your job, you cannot be fired. If you require certain accommodations to do those tasks (e.g., modified office equipment, amended performance metrics, a less restrictive work schedule), your employer must provide you with them. Your disability may make it impossible to return to the exact same position, yet you still may be able to perform related functions (with or without accommodations). If that is the case, your employer is required to reassign you.