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Understanding disability discrimination

| Jul 20, 2018 | Uncategorized |

At the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton in California, we empathize with the difficulties you sometime encounter in finding and maintaining a job when you are disabled. As you likely know, and as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reminds you, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against you in any aspect of employment from hiring and firing to pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, etc. based on your disability. In addition, the ADA requires employers to reasonably accommodate your disability.

To qualify for protection under the ADA, however, you must not only possess the necessary qualifications to perform the job for which you apply, but also meet one of the following three disability criteria:

  1. You have a physical or mental condition that substantially restricts your ability to walk, talk, hear, see, learn, etc.
  2. You have a history of disability, such as cancer currently in remission.
  3. Your employer or prospective employer believes you have a major and lasting physical or mental condition, even if you actually do not have that condition.

Hiring process

When you apply for a job, the employer cannot ask you to answer medical questions, ask you if you have a disability and, if so, to define it, or require you to take a medical examination. (S)he can, however, ask you if you can perform the job for which you are applying and how you plan to do so, with or without accommodation. In addition, once (s)he offers you the job, (s)he can condition the job offer on how you answer medical questions and/or if you successfully pass a medical exam, but only if the company requires all applicants for this job type to do likewise.

Reasonable accommodation

Per the ADA, your employer must reasonably accommodate your disability unless providing said accommodation(s) would result in its encountering significant expense or difficulty. For instance, if this is a small-sized company with limited business needs and resources, it may not have to accommodate you because of the hardship exception.

For further information, please visit this page on our website.