for Technical Assistance
Not necessarily. Because Title I is about employment, a person must meet the definition of disability, and must also be a “qualified individual.” That means that you must have the skill, experience, and education that the job requires. In other words, if you have a disability and you apply for the job of a foreign language translator, it would not be discriminatory for the employer to require you to have the skill, experience, and education to be able to translate a foreign language.
The other part of being a qualified individual with a disability, in terms of employment, is that you must be able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.
Essential functions are basic job duties. To determine if a job duty is an essential function, you look at factors like whether the position exists to perform that function, the number of other employees available to perform the function or among whom the function could be distributed, and the degree of expertise needed to perform the function.
No. Title I of the ADA applies to private employers with 15 or more employees, all state and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions.
All of them – applying for a job, hiring, firing, promotions, compensation, training, recruitment, advertising, layoffs, leave, employee benefits, and all other conditions and privileges of employment are covered.
There is no one specific answer to this question. It really depends on your individual situation. If you need your employer to accommodate you, then, at that time, you will probably have to tell your employer about your disability. But if you don’t need an accommodation, then it is really just a personal decision about when, or even whether, to tell your employer.
A potential employer may not ask you whether you have a disability, or any questions about the nature or severity of a disability. However, a potential employer may ask questions about the ability to perform specific job functions and may ask an individual with an obvious disability to describe or demonstrate how those functions would be performed.
An employer may not ask a job applicant to take a medical exam before making a job offer. But it’s all right for an employer to condition a job offer on the result of a medical exam if this is required of all entering employees in the same job category.
A reasonable accommodation is any kind of modification or adjustment to a job or to the work environment that makes it possible for a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to either participate in the job application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to make sure that individuals with disabilities have the same rights and privileges as individuals without disabilities in the workplace.
Examples of reasonable accommodations might include making the workplace accessible to and usable by an employee with a disability, restructuring a job, modifying work schedules, providing qualified readers or interpreters, or modifying equipment. Reassigning a current qualified employee, who is unable to do the current job even with an accommodation, to a vacant position, may also be a reasonable accommodation. There is no obligation, though, to find a vacant position for an applicant who is not qualified to perform the job for which s/he is applying.
Examples of accommodations that are not reasonable, and not required, are lowering quality or quantity standards, or providing personal use items like eyeglasses, wheelchairs, or hearing aids.
It might be. If an employer already allows telecommuting, but has a rule that an employee is not eligible to participate in telecommuting until s/he has worked there for a specific number of months or years, then it might be a reasonable accommodation to remove that time requirement. If the nature of the job is such that being at the workplace is necessary, then the employer would not have to allow telecommuting. It really depends on a lot of factors on both the employer’s and employee’s sides.
Keep in mind that the person requesting the accommodation must be otherwise qualified and able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation. Also, the disability must be known to the employer.
The employer is not required to make an accommodation if doing so would be an undue hardship on the operation of the business.
Undue hardship is an “action requiring significant difficulty or expense.” This is decided by looking at factors like the nature and cost of the accommodation compared to the size, resources, and structure of the business. If the business making the accommodation is part of a larger entity, the overall resources of the larger organization would be considered.
No. Even if a particular accommodation would be an undue hardship on the employer, the employer has to try to find another accommodation that would not pose an undue hardship. If the cost of the accommodation poses an undue hardship, the employer should pay the cost up to the point that there is an undue hardship and then allow the employee the option of paying for the other portion of the cost.
Yes. An employee with a disability must be able to access the building, the equipment, and all facilities used by employees, unless providing access would be an undue hardship.
The ADA lets employers establish standards that exclude people who pose a direct threat to the health and safety of the individual or others if, and only if, that risk cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation. Direct threat means a significant risk of substantial harm.
Deciding that an employee is a direct threat must be based on an individual assessment of that particular employee and must be based on reliable medical or other objective evidence, as opposed to generalizations, ignorance, stereotypes, fears, or patronizing attitudes.
People who are currently engaging in the use of illegal drugs are specifically excluded from the ADA definition of “qualified individual with a disability.” Therefore, employers may take action against the employee on the basis of drug use without violating the ADA.
Alcoholism is treated differently under the ADA. A person who currently uses alcohol is not automatically denied protection. A person who has alcoholism may be considered to be a person with a disability under the ADA and an employer may have to reasonably accommodate the alcoholic employee. But allowing an employee to consume alcohol, or be under the influence of alcohol, at work are not reasonable accommodations. It’s all right to discipline or even fire an employee if the alcohol use affects the person’s job performance or conduct. And of course, employers may have “no alcohol in the workplace” policies and even require that employees not be under the influence of alcohol at work, even if it was consumed elsewhere.
Generally, yes, as long as the same standards apply to everybody. An employer can evaluate performance standards, such as how well the employee performs both essential and marginal job functions, and whether the employee is meeting basic job requirements like teamwork, customer service, work output, and product quality. Employers may also evaluate and enforce conduct standards like appearance standard, rules against destroying company property, rules about computer and equipment usage, and attendance requirements.
Yes. An employer with a disability has to be able to meet the same production standards as all other employees doing the same job. Employers do not have to lower production standards as a reasonable accommodation. However, a reasonable accommodation might be required to assist employees with disabilities in meeting the same production standards.
Yes. As long as the disability does not cause the violation of the conduct standard, it is permissible to discipline the employee. For example, if an employee who uses a wheelchair has frequent arguments with her supervisor or co-workers, she may be disciplined or even fired because the conduct is not related to her disability.
Yes. As long as the conduct standard is job-related and consistent with business necessity, and all other employees are held to the same standard, it is permissible to discipline the employee even when the conduct is caused by the disability. The ADA does not protect employees from the consequences of violating conduct standards, even when the violation is cause by the disability.
No. Decisions about medication and medical treatment are generally medical decisions that take into account a number of factors about which the employer may not be aware or have the expertise to consider. Even if employers just want to help, they should discuss the unacceptable conduct rather than medical treatments or medications to treat a disability.
No. It protects employees from being discriminated against on the basis of disability. It is not a violation for an employer to fire, demote, not promote, reduce hours, or change any other condition of employment for some other reason that is not related to your disability. The same situation exists with layoffs or reductions-in-force. As long as your discharge is not based on your disability, there is no violation of the ADA.
Complaints may be filed with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state’s designated human rights agency. Private lawsuits are also an option, but you cannot file a lawsuit until after the EEOC or your state’s human rights agency has investigated your complaint and issued a notice that’s referred to as a “Right To Sue Letter.”
can contact the EEOC at:
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