Many people wonder what constitutes a disability for purposes of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments
Act (ADAAA). The ADA and ADAAA make disability discrimination illegal
and in many cases it may be possible to file a lawsuit and obtain damages
if you have been discriminated against due to a disability. However, it’s
important to remember that not all injuries, illnesses or even medically
defined disabilities are covered by the ADA. The ADA projects a specific
class of individuals-qualified individuals with a disability. A qualified
individual with a disability is an individual with any medical, physiological,
or psychiatric condition that substantially limits a major life activity.
Temporary conditions or conditions that, although serious, don’t
substantially limit any of your major life activities are not covered.
On the other hand – in some instances you may be protected even though
you don’t have an actual physical disability – the definition
of disability is a legal one, not a medical one. Further, you may be protected
by the ADA if you have been discriminated against based on a stereotype
or unfounded concern about an individual’s medial condition and
Determining just who may be considered to have a disability can be confusing
– if you have questions or think that you may have been discriminated
against based on a disability it’s important to consult with an
experiencedAtlanta disability discrimination lawyer.
A recent case evaluated whether a teacher was entitled to a jury verdict
based on her assertion that she suffered from seasonal affective disorder
and should be transferred to a windowed classroom that let in natural
light. In October 2010, a jury found in favor of the teacher, based in
part on her doctor’s testimony. Her doctor stated that had the teacher
been given a classroom with natural light (a “reasonable accommodation”)
she would have been able to return to work.
Based on this testimony, along with proof that the school district was
aware of the teacher’s disability, and that her placement in a classroom
with no exterior light most likely accounted for her depression, the school
was obliged to provide her requested accommodation unless it would “impose
an undue hardship” on the school district.
Here, the court found a jury reasonably could find “little hardship”
to the employer in doing so.
As a result, the appeals court determined that the jury verdict in the
teacher’s favor should stand.
If you believe you have been discriminated at work based on a disability
or any other reason, it is important to get help. For more information,
contact the top
Atlanta disability discrimination attorneys right away for an immediate consultation.