What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability in employment, public accommodations, State and local governments, schools, and commercial facilities. The ADA was designed to aid qualified people with physical or mental disabilities and give them the same benefits and opportunities available to individuals who have no disabilities. It protects disabled people similar in scope to the protections provided by previously enacted civil rights laws that prohibited discrimination based on race, skin color, national origin, religion, and sex.
According to the ADA, private employers with 15 or more employees must give individuals with disabilities the same employment opportunities and benefits that they would give to employees without disabilities. The law requires the employer to provide reasonable accommodations to job applicants or employees, so long as such accommodations do not create an undue hardship or significant expense to the employer. If more than one accommodation is available, the employer can select the one to be given.
The law requires the job applicant or employee to have the requisite qualifications to do the job and to be able to perform the essential requirements of it.
The law also places limitations on questions regarding disabilities that an employer can pose to a prospective employee.
Disability Rights Laws
Discrimination in the workplace against individuals with disabilities is prohibited by both federal and Idaho State law. The federal law is the aforementioned ADA. The state law is the Idaho Human Rights Act. These laws prevent discrimination against: 1) individuals with substantial physical or mental disabilities; 2) individuals who have a history of such disabilities; and 3) individuals who are believed to have such disabilities, regardless of whether they actually have them. The disability cannot be minor or transitory.
In Idaho, qualified employees with disabilities have the right to a workplace that is free from discrimination. This right extends to all phases of their employment, from beginning to end, including, but not limited to their hiring, salary, benefits, training, promotions, work assignments, layoffs and firing. They are protected from hostile remarks or harassment from supervisors, customers, or other workers.
An employee covered by such laws will most likely have a viable disability discrimination claim if the employer knows about the severe and constant harassment that the disabled employee faces but refuses to take corrective measures. The disabled employee will also have a valid claim if the harassment leads to a demotion or termination.
Disability Discrimination Under the ADA
Disability discrimination under the ADA occurs when an employer who is subject to the law, unfairly treats or takes an adverse employment action against a job applicant or an employee who has a disability, has a history of a disability, or is reasonably believed to have a disability that will last for more than six months.
It can also occur when the employer fails to correct a hostile work environment for the disabled employee or fails to provide the reasonable accommodations that the employee needs to perform the duties of the job.
Additionally, the ADA prevents discrimination against an employee who has a close relationship with an individual, such as a spouse, who has a disability.
Filing a Claim with the EEOC
If you believe that you have been discriminated against in your job due to your disability, you must file a claim with the EEOC within 180 days of the time that discrimination occurred. You will have 300 days to file your claim if a State or local provides a remedy for discrimination based on the disability.
Idaho Employment Law Solutions will guide you through the process of filing a timely claim with the EEOC.
You must first file your claim with the EEOC and/or the Idaho Human Rights Commission. Only after this administrative process is completed can you turn to the federal or state court systems.
What Should I Do if I’ve Encountered Disability Discrimination at Work?
Live in Idaho and believe that you have been discriminated against in the workplace because of your disability? Your first step must be to contact a law firm knowledgeable in both employment and disability discrimination laws. Fortunately, such a firm exists in Boise, Idaho Employment Law Solutions. For a small initial consultation fee of $75, the firm will examine whether your claim has legal merit. If it does, and you decide to retain the firm, they will begin to devise an effective case strategy and explain the many steps involved in advancing your claim and settling your matter to your satisfaction. If you retain Idaho Employment Law Solutions, you will have the assurance of knowing that we have extensive experience in litigating disability discrimination claims and will always advocate diligently on your behalf.
Contact an Idaho Employment Lawyer
Idaho Employment Law Solutions is an African-American and Veteran-owned law firm providing quality and efficient legal counsel to businesses, organizations, employers/employees, and individual multi-cultural clients located throughout Idaho.
Idaho Employment Law Solutions is skilled in handling charges of discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, race, national origin and pregnancy submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Idaho Human Rights Commission, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S.Department of Labor. Idaho Employment Law Solutions has extensive experience in handling employee complaints about discrimination or harassment before those complaints become official charges of discrimination. Idaho Employment Law Solutions is experienced in guiding its business clients through sexual harassment investigations and provides advice on a case-by-case basis about the most effective way for the employer and employee to address claims of discrimination. Contact us at (208) 672-6112.