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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Employers covered by the ADA must ensure that people with disabilities have:

  • An equal opportunity to apply for jobs and to work in jobs for which they are qualified;
  • An equal opportunity to be promoted once they are working; and
  • Equal access to benefits and privileges of employment that are offered to other employees, such as employer-provided health insurance or training.

Employers may not retaliate against individuals for exercising their ADA rights. The ADA also prohibits acts that have a disparate impact on individuals with disabilities. Employers must also ensure that people with disabilities are not harassed because of their disability.

The focus on any ADA-related situation is to avoid any discrimination based on the employee’s or applicant’s condition. If an employer takes an adverse employment action based on an individual’s impairments, discrimination may have occurred. An employer may not discriminate regarding:

  • Recruiting
  • Hiring
  • Promotions
  • Layoffs
  • Pay
  • Job assignments
  • Leaves
  • Fringe benefits
  • Training
  • Other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment

As part of ensuring that individuals with disabilities are not discriminated against based on their disabilities, employers also need to remove architectural barriers in existing buildings and make sure that newly built or altered facilities are constructed to be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

One of the cornerstones of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to the known limitations of qualified individuals with disabilities.