What are My Employer’s Obligations Under the Americans With Disabilities Act?
At the Leichter Law Firm, APC, the Los Angeles, California employment law attorney, Aryeh Leichter, knows that disabled employees throughout California and the U.S. are protected by the Federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
Unpacking what that means can be complicated. Here are a few of the most frequent questions attorneys receive about ADA.
Which Employers Can Be Pursued for Disability Discrimination Under ADA?
Job discrimination against people with disabilities is illegal if practiced by employers who have 15 or more employees, including:
- Employment Agencies
- Labor Organizations
- Labor-Management Committees
- Private Employers
- State and Local Governments
Generally, it is the responsibility of the employee to inform the employer of a physical or mental disability, and that accommodation is needed.
Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation only for the physical or mental limitations of a qualified individual with a disability of which they are aware.
Am I Protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act?
If you have a disability and are qualified to do a job, the ADA protects you from job discrimination based on your disability.
Under the ADA, you have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. To be protected under the ADA, you must have, have a record of, or be regarded as having a substantial impairment.
- You must satisfy the employer’s requirements for the job, such as education, employment experience, skills, or licenses.
- You must be able to perform the essential functions — which are described as the fundamental job duties — with or without reasonable accommodation.
What is Reasonable Accommodation?
A reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in:
- The job application process.
- To perform the essential functions of a job.
- To enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities.
An employer is required to provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the employer can show that the accommodation would be an undue hardship — that is, that it would require significant difficulty or expense.
It is also unlawful for an employer to retaliate against you for asserting your rights under the ADA. The Act also protects you if you are a victim of discrimination because of your family, business, social or other relationship or association with an individual with a disability.
Additional Disability Discrimination Coverage is Available to California Workers
The California Civil Rights Department affords similar guidance and enforcement for disabled workers at the state level — although the protections are broader.
In California, the law only requires that a physical or mental condition limit (as opposed to substantially limit) a major life activity and applies to employees with as few as five employees. In addition, a California employer’s duty to accommodate an employee’s disability is also broader than the ADA.
Finally, ADA limits the amount of compensatory and punitive damages to which an aggrieved employee is entitled in a civil lawsuit, California has no such cap on damages.
Contact the Leichter Law Firm, APC Residential Manager Attorney in Los Angeles
If you believe you are being discriminated against at work because of your disability, contact our disability discrimination attorney in Los Angeles at Leichter Law Firm, APC today to discuss the legal remedies that may be available for your unique workplace circumstances today, starting with a free consultation by calling 818-915-6624 or contacting the firm online.