ADA Compliance

On this page, we will go over your rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act or ADA. Have you been passed over for a job or promotion solely because of your disability? Are you harassed or treated unfairly in the workplace because you are disabled? If so, you may have suffered disability discrimination.

If you have a disability and are qualified to perform the duties of a certain job, there are federal and state laws that protect you from employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Contact North Suburban Legal Service, LLC to file a claim against the employer and seek compensation for your damages.

What is a Disability?

The Americans With Disabilities Act defines what a disability is and what employers need to do to accommodate those with disabilities. The term “disability” refers to a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a person from performing one or more major life activities. It includes those who have a record of that impairment, even if they are not currently disabled. It also includes people who technically have a limiting disability but may not be practically disabled.

However, it is important to note that being disabled under the ADA is different from being disabled under other programs, such as Social Security. There are different requirements involved.

Major life activities include:

  • Caring for oneself
  • Working
  • Eating
  • Speaking
  • Breathing
  • Seeing
  • Hearing
  • Sleeping
  • Standing
  • Bending
  • Lifting
  • Learning
  • Reading
  • Thinking
  • Concentrating
  • Communicating

A person may also be considered disabled if they have serious conditions affecting major bodily functions, such as the following:

  • Immune system
  • Digestive system
  • Bowel and bladder
  • Brain and neurological system
  • Respiratory system
  • Circulatory system
  • Endocrine system
  • Reproductive functions
  • Normal cell growth

What is Disability Discrimination?

Under the law, an employer is not allowed to discriminate against a qualified individual based on their disability. This applies to:

  • Job application procedures
  • Hiring
  • Advancement
  • Discharge of employees
  • Job training
  • Promotions
  • Employee compensation
  • Employee leave
  • Employee benefits

Disabled employees or job applicants should not be harassed based on their disabling condition. They should also not be asked about their medical history or be forced to take a medical exam as a condition of employment.

In short, an employer is not allowed to treat a person differently because of their disability. They cannot deny a person employment opportunities solely based on their disability status. They should also make reasonable accommodations so that the employee can effectively perform their job duties.

What Are Reasonable Accommodations?

The ADA defines reasonable accommodation as a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the application or hiring process. Modifications help disabled people not only to get a job but successfully perform their job duties.

Reasonable accommodations help with the following:

  • Ensuring equal opportunity during the application process
  • Enabling a disabled person to perform the essential functions of a job
  • Making it possible for a disabled employee to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment as everyone else

Some people who are not disabled may view reasonable accommodations as “special treatment.” However, these accommodations can actually benefit everyone, regardless of disability. Reasonable accommodations may include making existing facilities more accessible, modifying a work schedule, restructuring a job, modifying equipment, or providing qualified interpreters or readers to help with communication issues.

Here are some other examples:

  • Installing a ramp
  • Modifying a bathroom
  • Changing the layout of an office
  • Providing screen reader software
  • Providing materials in large print or Braille
  • Using video communication for those who are deaf
  • Allowing a service animal in a work setting
  • Reassignment to a different position
  • Modifying an employee’s schedule to allow them to attend medical appointments

Remote Work as an Accommodation

Telecommuting, or working remotely, may be an option for many disabled employees, particularly those with physical challenges. Employees would be able to complete their work duties from home or another location that has internet capabilities.

More and more employers are allowing for remote work, especially during the pandemic. However, not all jobs are suited for remote work and there are disabled employees who may not feel comfortable working from home. Because of this, telecommuting is not the best option for every disabled employee. That’s why employers and employees should have conversations about what accommodations would best fit the employee to help them be their most productive.

Do All Employers Need to Follow ADA Laws?

The ADA applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. This includes state and local government agencies, private employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations and committees. Job discrimination by any of these organizations is illegal under the ADA. There are also many states that prohibit discrimination based on disability.

Can an Employer Ask if I am Disabled?

During the job application process, an employer is not allowed to directly ask you if you have a disability, and if you do, the severity of your disability. However, an employer is allowed to ask you if you can perform the duties of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. An employer can also ask you to describe how you will perform the duties of the job.

Federal contractors and subcontractors may have different requirements. For example, they may ask the disabled to identify themselves on a job application or in some other pre-employment inquiry. However, there are certain legal requirements that must be followed pertaining to how this information is obtained and how it is kept confidential.

A pre-employment inquiry about a disability may be required under other federal laws. Identifying disabled applicants may be necessary so that employers can provide them with the required special services.

Contact Our Chicago Disability Discrimination Lawyers

Employers have the legal right to accommodate those with disabilities, whether it is for job applicants or employees. Have you been passed over for a job promotion due to your disability? Has your employer failed to make accommodations so you can effectively do your job?

If so, North Suburban Legal Service, LLC can help. Our knowledgeable and seasoned Chicago disability discrimination lawyers can help you understand the laws that apply in your case and help bring about justice. Call our office today at (312) 909-6089 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.




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