The Americans with Disabilities Act protects qualified individuals against
several different types of discrimination based on a “disability.”
A qualified individual with a disability includes those individuals with
any medical, physiological, or psychiatric condition that substantially
limits a major life activity. Further, the ADA protects against perceived
disabilities. This includes
disability discrimination based on stereotypes and baseless concerns about an individual’s
condition or medical history. Under these circumstances, it is a violation
of federal discrimination laws to take adverse employment actions or retaliate
against you for complaining about disability discrimination. It also requires
your employer take reasonable steps to accommodate your disability.
In a recent case,
Blackburn v. Trustees of Guilford Technical Cmty. Coll., a North Carolina Court reviewed whether a Community College violated
the ADA when it refused to allow a house keeper – Gail Blackburn
– to return to work. Blackburn had sustained workplace injuries
and was placed on work place restrictions prohibiting her from lifting
more than 20 pounds, sitting of standing for a prolonged period of time
and repetitively bending, stooping or squatting. When she received a physician’s
release two months later, the Community College failed to give her her
job back, based on their perception that she was disabled and could not
perform her job.
Blackburn sued the Community College, and the College tried to defend itself
by claiming it was immune from liability as an “arm of the state,”
and the Constitution generally prohibits lawsuits against states. However,
North Carolina specifically waived sovereign immunity for lawsuits filed
by “state employees” and as a result, Blackburn was allowed
to proceed with her
job discrimination claim.
Many times, whether a valid claim for a violation of employment discrimination
laws exist depends on an interpretation of both state and federal laws.
Consulting with a knowledgeable
Georgia employment discrimination attorney is important to assess your claim and determine your right to compensation.
If you believe you have been subjected to employment discrimination such
as disability discrimination or have questions regarding employment laws,
contact the dedicated
Atlanta disability discrimination lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for a confidential consultation.