The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities
Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) protect qualified individuals with disabilities from
discrimination. This definition can be confusing to some, particularly figuring out who
is covered by the act and whether your condition is considered a “disability.”
If you have questions about the ADA, whether you are covered and what protections
you many be entitled to, it’s a good idea to consult with an Atlanta
employment discrimination lawyer right away.
In order to be covered, generally you must meet two criteria:
1) Be a qualified individual; and
2) Have a medical, physiological or psychiatric condition that limits
a major life activity.
Qualified individuals include those workers who can generally perform the
job but have limitations due to their disability. If by making certain
reasonable adjustments, the worker would be able to perform the job, then
an employer may be required to take these actions. This includes things
like allowing a worker to come in later, changing a workspace if it exacerbates
a medical condition or providing a telephone amplifier if the worker is
hard of hearing.
To be considered a “disability, ” the condition must limit
an employee’s (or prospective employee’s) ability to participate
is a major life activity. For example, blindness limits the major life
activity of seeing.
However, conditions not as commonly considered a “disability”
may also fit this category. A recent case –
Blickle v. Illinois Dep’t of Children & Family Servs. – determined that a woman with arthritis could bring a claim against
her employer (the State of Illinois) after it failed to transfer her to
a city closer to her doctor’s office. The court also found that
she was fired in violation of the ADA.
The facts of this case included the following:
The woman was hired by DCFS in 1995. 14 years later her back arthritis
was so severe that it became disabling. She was still able to perform
the duties of her job, but in March 2010 requested that she be reassigned
to a city closer to her home where she received physical therapy for her
back. The woman asserted that accommodating her by moving her there would
have allowed her to work a full day and attend therapy after work. She
also stated that this transfer would not have changed any of her daily
work activities or interfered with her ability to perform her job. The
transfer request was never granted, and the woman was later fired.
The court determined that this case stated enough facts that a jury should
be allowed to decide whether the woman has a claim of disability discrimination
against her former employer based on her arthritic condition and the failure
of her employer to change her job location.
For more information about the ADA/ADAAA or if you believe you may have
experienced disability discrimination, please
contact an Atlanta disability discrimination lawyer at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate consultation.