Many times we suffer long term or significant injuries that keep us from fully engaging in all the activities we want to. If an injury, illness, or condition keeps you from adequately participating in a major life activity it may be considered a legal “disability” and entitle you to certain rights at work. A “major life activity” is generally defined to include those things that most people can do with little or no difficulty, such as caring for yourself, hearing, speaking, breathing, standing and lifting.
If you are considered disabled, federal law provides both that you can’t be fired as a result of your disability and that your employer must put forth an effort to make reasonable changes that will help you to do your job – such as possibly allowing you to come into work later or making your office or work space easier to access. You may also be allowed not to perform certain parts of your job that may be painful or difficult due to your disability. If an employer doesn’t make these changes, you may be able to bring a disability discrimination lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Americans With Disabilities Act As Amended (ADA or ADAAA).
A recent case determined that if you bring a lawsuit under the ADA,
medical evidence of a disability may not be required. Your own personal statements concerning
your daily functioning, or that of anyone else who has knowledge of your
day-to-day activity, are enough to show the extent of your disability
Not all injures, illnesses or even traditionally defined “disabilities” are covered by the ADA. Instead whether you have a disability covered by the ADA is determined on a case-by-case basis, and depends on how the condition affects your ability to engage in a “major life activity.”
For more information, or if you have been fired due to a disability, contact the Atlanta employment lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP, LLC dedicated to protecting worker’s rights.