Prior to 1990, persons with disabilities had no legal recourse if they were denied a job or terminated because of their disability. In 1990, the United States Congress took note of this unfairness, explaining that millions of disabled Americans had no legal recourse even though they “continually encounter various forms of discrimination, including outright intentional exclusion, . . . overprotective rules and policies, . . . exclusionary qualification standards and criteria, segregation, and relegation to lesser services, programs, activities benefits, jobs, or other opportunities.”
As a result of these recognized problems, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities. In essence, the ADA was designed to provide a legal avenue for persons with disabilities to bring a lawsuit if a potential employer refuses to hire the individual, or terminates him or her based on the disability. In addition, the ADA requires employers to potentially provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities, if such accommodations will help the employee perform the essential functions of the position.
However, the ADA became one of the most difficult laws to interpret in the history of jurisprudence, so in 2009 Congress passed a law that assisted in the interpretation process. Now the law is more clearly interpreted to protect persons with major disabilities that can perform the essential functions of the job – with or without reasonable accommodations. It is important to note that the permanence and extent of disability are the major factors to be considered to determine if the ADA provides protections.
If you believe that you have – or been perceived to have – a serious impairment that qualifies as disability under the ADA, and you feel you have been discriminated against or denied a reasonable accommodation, please fill out and send the discrimination e-mail form. If you are a company that has been wrongfully accused of committing a discriminatory act related to the ADA, please fill out and send our other email contact form. We would be happy to review your matter, and contact you about your potential options. PLEASE DO NOT DELAY, as this may prevent you from being able to assert your legal rights.