The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal civil rights law that protects individuals from discrimination based on disability. The law, also known as ADA, is an important component in anti-discrimination cases, especially in workplaces and public places such as restaurants and stores.
If you have a disability as the ADA defines it, you should understand the law so that you know your rights. If someone violates your rights, especially in the workplace where this federal law protects accommodations for disabilities, you can take action.
What is an ADA accommodation?
Under Title I of the ADA, your employer must provide reasonable accommodations for your disability, based on the circumstances of the workplace and your position as well as your disability. Accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the job, work environment, or the way things are normally done.
The ADA requires accommodations in three different areas of employment. The first is during the application and hiring process, including interviews, so that a disabled individual has equal opportunity when compared to other applicants. The second is enabling the individual to perform the job, and the third is allowing for the employee to experience equal benefits and privileges of employment.
What happens if an employer violates accommodations?
Because the ADA is a federal law, employers must abide by its requirements. That means that reasonable accommodations are not optional, and if an employer does not offer or provide reasonable accommodations for disabilities, he or she may be in violation of the ADA.
The ADA defines disability as something that substantially limits a “major life activity.” That means that you must first understand and determine whether your disability qualifies under this definition. If it does, and if your employer fails to provide a reasonable accommodation, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.