Are you concerned about workplace discrimination because of your disability? The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was created to address discrimination against people with disabilities in various aspects of our day-to-day lives. As such, it can credibly be called a historic piece of legislation. But what exactly does it say, and how can you bring a case under it? Keep reading to learn more about the ADA and how it protects employees from discrimination, and remember that an Atlanta employment discrimination attorney is here to help if you’ve been discriminated against.
What Is the ADA?
The ADA is wide-ranging legislation that, among other things, contains legal protections for people with disabilities who can perform jobs either with or without a reasonable accommodation. In addition to employment protections, the ADA also includes provisions for discrimination prevention in transportation, public accommodations, communications, and access to state and local public programs and services.
To be covered by the ADA as disabled, you need to demonstrate that you cannot perform “major life activities.” These activities might be manual tasks, activities related to your physical health like breathing or learning, and impairments. An impairment would be a physical disorder related to your neurological, cardiovascular, or special sense organs.
What United States Agencies Administer the ADA?
The agencies that administer the ADA are:
- United States Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- United States Department of Transportation
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- United States Department of Justice
- United States Department of Education
- United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB)
The EEOC is charged with enforcing Title I of the ADA, which covers private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions. It protects individuals with disabilities when they apply for jobs, are hired, and receive job training. The Department of Transportation enforces the ADA with regard to transit. This also includes that state and local entities receiving federal aid for roadways and pedestrian facilities don’t discriminate based on disability. The FCC administers the ADA on telecommunications like telephone and television. The Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services all regulate entities in their specific purviews that receive federal funding. Lastly, the ATBCB deals with accessibility issues that can occur in buildings, facilities, and transit vehicles.
How Do I Know If I Have an ADA Case for Employment Discrimination?
To successfully bring a disability discrimination claim under the ADA, you will need to prove three things.
First, you must show that you are disabled within the context of the ADA. Secondly, you need to show that you perform your job with (or without) reasonable accommodation. Finally, you will show that you illegally sustained an adverse employment action because of your disability.
The ADA obligates employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, though only if this can be done without incurring undue hardship on the business. Given this difficult balance, ADA cases can end up being very fact-specific from one to another.