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What Are ADA Basics for Employees?

March 30th, 2024
Philadelphia Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Understanding the basics of the ADA is crucial for employees to ensure their rights are protected in the workplace.

Definition of a Disability

Under the ADA, a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, have a history of such an impairment, or are perceived by others as having such an impairment. This broad definition is intended to encompass a wide range of conditions and situations.

Reasonable Accommodations

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities as long as doing so does not cause undue hardship to the business. Reasonable accommodations might include making existing facilities accessible, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquiring or modifying equipment, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.

Employers are not required to lower quality or production standards as an accommodation; however, they must ensure that employees with disabilities have equal opportunities to meet such standards while being provided with reasonable accommodations.

Discrimination and Harassment

The ADA prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. It also protects employees from harassment due to their disability, which can include offensive remarks about a person’s disability.

While the law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision.

If an employee believes they have been discriminated against in violation of the ADA, there are specific steps they should follow to file a complaint. Initially, it is advisable to address the issue directly with the employer, through human resources or another appropriate channel, to seek a resolution. If this approach does not yield satisfactory results, the employee may need to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a similar state agency.

It is important to act quickly, as there are strict time limits for filing a complaint with the EEOC. A charge must be filed within 180 calendar days from the day the discrimination took place. Sometimes, this deadline can be extended.

A Philadelphia Disability Discrimination Lawyer at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Will Help You Protect Your Rights at Work

Understanding your rights under the ADA is the first step toward ensuring you are treated fairly in the workplace. If you believe your rights have been violated, it is crucial to seek legal advice promptly. The Gold Law Firm P.C. is committed to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the accommodations you deserve. Speak with a Philadelphia disability discrimination lawyer today. Call 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, and Cherry Hill.

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