The Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers | ADA National Network
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The individual with a disability requiring the accommodation must be otherwise qualified, and the disability must be known to the employer. In addition, an employer is not required to make an accommodation if it would impose an "undue hardship" on the operation of the employer's business.
These factors include the nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size, resources, nature, and structure of the employer's operation. Undue hardship is determined on a case-by-case basis. Where the facility making the accommodation is part of a larger entity, the structure and overall resources of the larger organization would be considered, as well as the financial and administrative relationship of the facility to the larger organization.
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In general, a larger employer with greater resources would be expected to make accommodations requiring greater effort or expense than would be required of a smaller employer with fewer resources. If a particular accommodation would be an undue hardship, the employer must try to identify another accommodation that will not pose such a hardship. Also, if the cost of an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer, the individual with a disability should be given the option of paying that portion of the cost which would constitute an undue hardship or providing the accommodation.
Must an employer modify existing facilities to make them accessible? For example, if an employee lounge is located in a place inaccessible to an employee using a wheelchair, the lounge might be modified or relocated, or comparable facilities might be provided in a location that would enable the individual to take a break with co-workers.
The employer must provide such access unless it would cause an undue hardship. Under title I, an employer is not required to make its existing facilities accessible until a particular applicant or employee with a particular disability needs an accommodation, and then the modifications should meet that individual's specific medical needs.
However, employers should consider initiating changes that will provide general accessibility, particularly for job applicants, since it is likely that people with disabilities will be applying for jobs. The employer does not have to make changes to provide access in places or facilities that will not be used by that individual for employment-related activities or benefits. Can an employer be required to reallocate an essential function of a job to another employee as a reasonable accommodation?
An employer is not required to reallocate essential functions of a job as a reasonable accommodation. Can an employer be required to modify, adjust, or make other reasonable accommodations in the way a test is given to an applicant or employee with a disability?
Accommodations may be needed to assure that tests or examinations measure the actual ability of an individual to perform job functions rather than reflect limitations caused by the disability.
Tests should be given to people who have sensory, speaking, or manual impairments in a format that does not require the use of the impaired skill, unless it is a job-related skill that the test is designed to measure. If the ability to perform marginal functions is affected by the disability, the employer must provide some type of reasonable accommodation such as job restructuring but may not exclude an individual with a disability who is satisfactorily performing a job's essential functions.
Can an employer establish specific attendance and leave policies? An employer can establish attendance and leave policies that are uniformly applied to all employees, regardless of disability, but may not refuse leave needed by an employee with a disability if other employees get such leave. An employer also may be required to make adjustments in leave policy as a reasonable accommodation. The employer is not obligated to provide additional paid leave, but accommodations may include leave flexibility and unpaid leave.
However, if an individual with a disability requests a modification of such a policy as a reasonable accommodation, an employer may be required to provide it, unless it would impose an undue hardship. Can an employer consider health and safety when deciding whether to hire an applicant or retain an employee with a disability?
The ADA permits employers to establish qualification standards that will exclude individuals who pose a direct threat — i. However, an employer may not simply assume that a threat exists; the employer must establish through objective, medically supportable methods that there is significant risk that substantial harm could occur in the workplace.
By requiring employers to make individualized judgments based on reliable medical or other objective evidence rather than on generalizations, ignorance, fear, patronizing attitudes, or stereotypes, the ADA recognizes the need to balance the interests of people with disabilities against the legitimate interests of employers in maintaining a safe workplace.
Are applicants or employees who are currently illegally using drugs covered by the ADA? Individuals who currently engage in the illegal use of drugs are specifically excluded from the definition of an individual with a disability protected by the ADA when the employer takes action on the basis of their drug use. Is testing for the illegal use of drugs permissible under the ADA?
A test for the illegal use of drugs is not considered a medical examination under the ADA; therefore, employers may conduct such testing of applicants or employees and make employment decisions based on the results. The ADA does not encourage, prohibit, or authorize drug tests. If the results of a drug test reveal the presence of a lawfully prescribed drug or other medical information, such information must be treated as a confidential medical record.
Are alcoholics covered by the ADA? While a current illegal user of drugs is not protected by the ADA if an employer acts on the basis of such use, a person who currently uses alcohol is not automatically denied protection. An employer may be required to provide an accommodation to an alcoholic. However, an employer can discipline, discharge or deny employment to an alcoholic whose use of alcohol adversely affects job performance or conduct.
An employer also may prohibit the use of alcohol in the workplace and can require that employees not be under the influence of alcohol. Does the ADA override federal and state health and safety laws? The ADA does not override health and safety requirements established under other federal laws even if a standard adversely affects the employment of an individual with a disability.
If a standard is required by another federal law, an employer must comply with it and does not have to show that the standard is job related and consistent with business necessity.
For example, employers must conform to health and safety requirements of the U. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. However, an employer still has the obligation under the ADA to consider whether there is a reasonable accommodation, consistent with the standards of other federal laws, which will prevent exclusion of individuals with disabilities who can perform jobs without violating the standards of those laws.
If an employer can comply with both the ADA and another federal law, then the employer must do so. The ADA does not override state or local laws designed to protect public health and safety, except where such laws conflict with the ADA requirements. If there is a state or local law that would exclude an individual with a disability from a particular job or profession because of a health or safety risk, the employer still must assess whether a particular individual would pose a "direct threat" to health or safety under the ADA standard.
If such a "direct threat" exists, the employer must consider whether it could be eliminated or reduced below the level of a "direct threat" by reasonable accommodation.
An employer cannot rely on a state or local law that conflicts with ADA requirements as a defense to a charge of discrimination. How does the ADA affect workers' compensation programs?
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Only injured workers who meet the ADA's definition of an "individual with a disability" will be considered disabled under the ADA, regardless of whether they satisfy criteria for receiving benefits under workers' compensation or other disability laws.
A worker also must be "qualified" with or without reasonable accommodation to be protected by the ADA. However, even after a conditional offer has been made, an employer cannot require a potential employee to have a medical examination because a response to a medical inquiry as opposed to results from a medical examination shows a previous on-the-job injury unless all applicants in the same job category are required to have an examination.
Also, an employer may not base an employment decision on the speculation that an applicant may cause increased workers' compensation costs in the future. However, an employer may refuse to hire or may discharge an individual who is not currently able to perform a job without posing a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or others if the risk cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation. An employer also may submit medical information and records concerning employees and applicants obtained after a conditional job offer to state workers' compensation offices and "second injury" funds without violating ADA confidentiality requirements.Alizé Lee - USA Gymnastics Level 4 State Championship
What is discrimination based on "relationship or association" under the ADA? The ADA prohibits discrimination based on relationship or association in order to protect individuals from actions based on unfounded assumptions that their relationship to a person with a disability would affect their job performance, and from actions caused by bias or misinformation concerning certain disabilities. For example, this provision would protect a person whose spouse has a disability from being denied employment because of an employer's unfounded assumption that the applicant would use excessive leave to care for the spouse.
It also would protect an individual who does volunteer work for people with AIDS from a discriminatory employment action motivated by that relationship or association. How are the employment provisions enforced? The employment provisions of the ADA are enforced under the same procedures now applicable to race, color, sex, national origin, and religious discrimination under title VII of the Civil Rights Act ofas amended, and the Civil Rights Act of Complaints may be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or designated state human rights agencies.
Available remedies will include hiring, reinstatement, promotion, back pay, front pay, restored benefits, reasonable accommodation, attorneys' fees, expert witness fees, and court costs. Compensatory and punitive damages also may be available in cases of intentional discrimination or where an employer fails to make a good faith effort to provide a reasonable accommodation.
A charge must be filed within calendar days from the date the discrimination took place. The calendar day filing deadline is extended to calendar days if a state or local agency enforces a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis.
What financial assistance is available to employers to help them make reasonable accommodations and comply with the ADA? A special tax credit is available to help smaller employers make accommodations required by the ADA. Expenses covered include costs of removing barriers created by steps, narrow doors, inaccessible parking spaces, restroom facilities, and transportation vehicles.
What are an employer's recordkeeping requirements under the employment provisions of the ADA? An employer must maintain records such as application forms submitted by applicants and other records related to hiring, requests for reasonable accommodation, promotion, demotion, transfer, lay-off or termination, rates of pay or other terms of compensation, and selection for training or apprenticeship for one year after making the record or taking the action described whichever occurs later.
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If a charge of discrimination is filed or an action is brought by EEOC, an employer must save all personnel records related to the charge until final disposition of the charge.
Does the ADA require that an employer post a notice explaining its requirements? Location Accessible spaces must connect to the shortest accessible route to the accessible building entrance or facility they serve.
If a parking facility serves multiple buildings or accessible entrances, accessible parking spaces should be dispersed to enable people to park near as many accessible entrances as possible. A shopping center has fifteen stores, each with a separate entrance. There is one large parking lot with spaces. The twenty accessible parking spaces should be dispersed to provide some options for people to park close to the different stores.
If separate parking facilities serve the same building or entrance, accessible spaces may be grouped together, as long as the number of spaces provided is determined according to each of the separate parking facilities. A sports stadium has an adjacent parking lot with spaces and a separate parking lot several blocks away with an additional spaces.
The adjacent lot needs 20 accessible spaces four of which need to be van-accessibleand the remote lot needs 25 accessible spaces five of which need to be van-accessible. Since accessible spaces need to be as near as possible to the facilities they serve, the 45 accessible spaces including nine van-accessible can be located in the lot adjacent to the stadium. Design Dimensions all dimensions are minimums: Accessible parking spaces are eight 8 feet wide; van-accessible spaces are eleven 11 feet wide.
Access aisles for either type of space are five 5 feet wide. An alternate design allows a van-accessible space to be eight 8 feet wide if the adjacent access aisle is also eight 8 feet wide. Access aisles must be marked e. This is especially important where the alternate design is used and an access aisle at a van-accessible space is the same size as the space. The surface of accessible spaces and access aisles must be smooth, stable, and virtually level in all directions to ensure safe use for people with disabilities, including those who must load, unload, and use wheeled mobility devices.