Americans with Disabilities Act – Overview
If you are seeking a job, you must be familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or ADA. it is a federal civil right law that was designed to prevent any discrimination and give them the opportunity to participate entirely in every aspect of society.
One of the fundamental principles of the ADA is that if a person with disabilities wants to work and is qualified to do so, that person should get an equal opportunity.
How Do You Know if You Are Protected by the ADA?
You have to be a qualified person with a disability to be covered by the ADA. It means, if you have any disability as defined by the ADA, you can come under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to ADA you can qualify for this program if you have a mental or physical impairment or condition that can substantially limit any major life activity like seeing, speaking, thinking, hearing, walking, breathing, or performing any manual tasks.
However, you should be able to do the job you were hired to do. The ADA program can cover employers with 15 or more workers, including the state and local governments. It is also applicable to employment agencies and labor organizations.
Under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, the nondiscrimination standards of the ADA are also applicable to all federal sector employees. Here is a list of the conditions that a person with disabilities may have.
- If a person has mental or physical impairments that can limit one or more major life activities
- If a person has any history of such impairment
- If the person is regarded as having such conditions or impairments
An employer has to make reasonable accommodations for qualified employees or applicants. Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments that are provided by the employer to enable individuals with disabilities to receive equal employment opportunities.
Accommodations can vary entirely depending upon the requirements of an applicant or an employee. Not everyone with an impairment will have the same requirements. Every person has different needs and different preferences.
- An applicant who is deaf may need someone who can interpret sign language during a work interview.
- An individual with diabetes may need regularly scheduled breaks to eat properly during the workday and monitor insulin levels and blood sugar levels.
- An employee who is blind may need a person to read the information from a bulletin board.
- Someone with cancer may need more leaves to have chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatments.
What Are Your Rights Under the ADA?
The ADA can protect you from any discrimination in employment practices. You will receive help in every step of the employment process, including the work application process, hiring someone, firing from the job, the training period, the pay role, promotion, leaves, and benefits.
Under this program, you do not have to face harassment or bullying because of your disability. No employer can discipline or fire you for your rights under the ADA. You will be able to request reasonable accommodations for the job.
Medical Examinations and Inquiries
The employer should not ask the applicant anything about the nature, existence, or severity of any disabilities. However, they can ask the applicant about their ability to perform any specific job function. The job offer can be conditioned on your medical examination.
However, it is only possible if the examination is required in similar jobs for every entering employee. The medical examination should be something that is related to the job profile and consistent with the business needs of the employers.
The medical records of the applicant are confidential. Employers should keep any medical records of their employees highly confidential and with limited expectations. The information should be kept confidential, even if that does not contain any medical diagnosis or treatment plan.
Drugs and Alcohol Abuse
Applicants and employees who are currently engaged in the illegal use of any kind of drug are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, specifically when the employers are recruiting on this basis.
Any tests for drug abuse are not subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act’s restrictions. The employers can hold the alcoholics or drug users to the same performance standards as other general employees.
5 Different Titles of the Americans with Disabilities Act
There are five different titles of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
1. Title I: Employment
The title ‘Employment’ is generally designed to help everyone with disabilities get equal opportunities in the workplace. The employer has to offer reasonable accommodation for the people under the ADA program.
An employer with more than 15 workers has to obey this law. Every individual under the ADA program may have different requirements and preferences. Hence, the accommodation may vary depending on the condition of the employee.
2. Title II: State and Local Government
Tile II of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits any discrimination against any individual with disabilities. This rule applies to all Local and State governments. All departments, agencies, or any other instrumentalists should follow this act.
3. Title III: Public Accommodation
No one should discriminate against anyone based on their disability in public accommodations and commercial facilities. It is necessary to make some reasonable changes to offer some facilities to people with disabilities. It is required to take the necessary steps to effectively communicate with individuals with hearing, vision, and speech disabilities.
4. Title IV: Telecommunication
According to this title, internet and telephone companies should offer a nationwide system of intrastate and interstate telecommunications relay services. These services can allow people with speech and hearing disabilities to communicate over the telephone.
5. Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions
It contains a variety of ADA-related provisions, including state immunity, its relationship to other laws, its impact and benefits, a prohibition against coercion, any illegal use of drugs, and the fees of the attorney.
The primary goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to protect individuals with any impairments or disabilities and help them to receive equal opportunities in life.