Do You Qualify for Protection Under the ADA? 3 Questions to Ask
Is a physical or mental impairment making some parts – or even all – of your job more difficult? Have you gotten fired because you could no longer perform a certain job function? Were you passed over for a new position or a promotion because a supervisor thought you were physically incapable of handling the job?
If so, you might be wondering if your condition is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That’s a good question to ask, because people who qualify for protection under the ADA may be entitled to certain reasonable job accommodations and protections under the law.
The ADA, however, doesn’t cover specific conditions, but rather requires that each individual’s circumstances are considered on a case-by-case basis.
To find out if you may qualify for ADA protection, start with these three questions:
- Are you qualified to do the job? That is, do you have the appropriate education, experience, and professional licenses to perform the duties required for the position?
- Do you suffer from a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a life activity? In other words, do you have a condition that makes it difficult for you to hear, see, speak, walk, breathe, perform manual tasks, care for yourself, learn or work?
- Are you able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without accommodation? You’ll need to look at the main functions of the job – those tasks that constitute the core of the position. Are you able to accomplish those duties on your own? If not, would you be able to do so if you were given an assistive device (such as special tools or equipment), or if you were allowed to make a job modification (such as a schedule change or relocation to a different area)?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you may be entitled to accommodation and protection under the ADA.
The ADA Doesn’t Stop There
While the above questions are a good starting point for most ADA-related cases, it’s important to keep in mind that the ADA offers protection in other instances as well.
If you have a history of a disabling condition but you no longer suffer from it, you may still qualify for ADA protection. For example, your boss generally cannot turn you down for a promotion simply because he or she believes that a prior injury or medical condition would affect your productivity.
If your employer believes you to be disabled – even if you’re not – you may be covered under the “regarded as” provision of the ADA. Why? If your employer regards you as disabled and takes a discriminatory action based on that belief, you may have a claim under the ADA. For example, an employer may violate the ADA by refusing to hire someone based on the belief that the person suffers from ADHD, chronic fatigue syndrome, or HIV.
You may also qualify for ADA protection if you’re in a caregiver role to someone who is disabled. For example, a supervisor generally may not refuse to promote an employee simply because the employee has a special needs child or an elderly parent who requires care.
Contact Us Now for a Free Consultation
Like most government regulations, the ADA can be complicated. If you believe you’ve been discriminated against or treated unfairly because of an ADA-related issue, it’s best to seek legal guidance to discuss the particular circumstances of your situation.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (267) 273-1054 for a free consultation.