The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or the ADA supposedly prevents employers from displaying disability bias when hiring new members to their workforce. The act promised disabled Americans equal opportunity, complete engagement, self-sufficiency, and financial independence. However, discriminatory acts continue to fester in the real world, wherein, disabled individuals are denied opportunities and a chance at independent living by ableist and biased employers.
If you are a disabled individual and have come across a scenario where you were denied what you deserve under professional merit, you must not give up. Out of several things you can do, you should consider seeking help from an experienced disability discrimination lawyer. If you think you have a solid disability discrimination case, the right attorney will be able to help you by holding employers accountable and thus, furthering the goals of the ADA.
In this post, we will look at a few things you must know while looking to sue for disability discrimination and how ADA might apply to a particular case.
Conditions & Considerations
Apart from ADA, several other laws forbid disability discrimination in a workspace environment. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act is one of the most important ones.
Unfortunately, this act doesn’t apply to every employer. A company should have at least 15 employees in order to fall under the purview of the ADA. However, there are certain local and state laws that might require smaller employers to adhere to the norms of the act.
Now let’s look at how the ADA defines disability. According to this act, disabilities are divided into three major categories. The ADA will qualify you as a disabled individual if you’re a person
- With a physical/mental impairment that significantly curbs a critical life function,
- With a history of such an impairment,
- Who is considered to have such an impairment by other individuals.
In simpler words, you’ll be eligible for the ADA’s protection if you are disabled, have a previous record of being disabled, or if you’re regarded by people as a disabled person.
Now the ADA doesn’t just prohibit discrimination and harassment. It also requires your employer to make reasonable accommodations that would allow you to perform your job duties without facing undue hindrances.
This could take the form of assistive devices, changes in schedule, or even a shift from full-time to part-time employment. However, an employer is not required to provide accommodations that constitute an undue burden by way of the expense or difficulty of the accommodation in implementation.
How To Initiate A Discrimination Litigation
Different states have various state laws that prohibit discrimination and harassment under different names. For instance, Maryland has a state law called Title 20 as opposed to the ADA.
While many of these laws don’t affect small businesses, some do. It varies from state to state.
So if you’re looking to file a suit against a particular employer, you must first enquire about the respective laws of the state before proceeding. In some cases, you cannot directly approach the court. You or your attorney will have to submit an administrative complaint with a government agency first, which is either EEOC (The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) or the state’s civil rights department.
Again, this totally depends upon your case and whether you decide to file under federal law or state law. If you’re planning to file under federal law, you will require to do so within the time period of three hundred days after the discriminatory act occurred. This is called a statute of limitations. If you wait more than three hundred days, you might lose your chance of litigation. On the other hand, if you’re filing under state law, the statute of limitations might differ with each state.
If you’re facing disability discrimination in the workplace, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Many employment law offices offer free confidential consultations.