A few facts about the Americans with Disabilities Act

If you’re a person with a disability, then you probably know that the Americans with Disabilities Act does offer you some protections as an employee. The ADA does not, however, force employers to hire you if you can’t complete a job or meet the qualifications of the job. Here are some myths and facts about the laws in place, so you can be clear before you talk to your attorney about discrimination at work.

One common myth about working with a disability is that if you are turned down, you’ve been discriminated against. That’s not necessarily true, but it is possible. An employer doesn’t have to employ you if there are candidates that better fit their needs. However, if you do qualify or are the most qualified and aren’t hired, then there is the potential that you’ve been discriminated against.

The ADA protects you if you work at an employer with over 15 employees in the case that you need reasonable accommodation. If you work for a smaller business that would be negatively affected by providing you those accommodations, then the business doesn’t need to provide you with that accommodation. This choice by the business is measured based on its income, size and other factors.

It’s also not discriminatory to fire someone with a disability, but it could be if you’re fired simply because you’re disabled. If your termination was based on something unrelated to the disability you suffer from, then there may be little the ADA can offer you in the way of protection. However, if the disability is the reason for firing and had nothing to do with an effect on your work, then that could be something to take to court.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, “Employers and the ADA: Myths and Facts,” accessed Oct. 29, 2015

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