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Accommodations at Work: Understanding Employer Responsibilities and Rights for Disabled Employees

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against employees and job seekers on the basis of disability. The ADA has been, and continues to be, an important law that enables people with disabilities to find employment in their chosen fields.

disabled employee using braille keyboard at work

Let's touch on some of the main points of the ADA that have implications for both employers and employees.

What Is a Disability?

Under the ADA, employees and job applicants are protected if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Such limitations include impairment of hearing, sight, speaking, walking, breathing, learning, and caring for one’s self.

What Does the ADA Do?

The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate in all employment practices, including recruiting, hiring, firing, promoting, paying, laying off, and providing leave.

Under the ADA and state laws, employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with physical and/or mental disabilities. The law applies to both private and public employers.