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Columbus Disability Lawyer

What is Disability Discrimination?

Disability discrimination occurs when an employer covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) treats a qualified individual with a disability less favorably because they have a disability.

 

Examples of disability discrimination include:

 

  • Refusing to hire a qualified candidate due to their disability
  • Denying an employee job advancement, training, or an apprenticeship due to their disability
  • Failing to properly compensate an employee due to their disability
  • Discharging an employee due to their disability
  • Disclosing confidential medical information
  • Refusing to discuss or make reasonable accommodations
  • Creating a hostile work environment for disabled employees

 

Am I Protected by the ADA?

The ADA defines “disability” in 3 ways:

 

  1. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activitiy;
  2. A record of an impairment; or
  3. Being regarded as or perceived as having an impairment 

 

Physical Impairments

Physical impairments affect one or more body systems (i.e., neurological, sensory organs, respiratory, reproductive, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, digestive, immune, etc.).

 

Examples of physical impairments include (but are not limited to):

 

  • Physiological disorder or condition
  • Cosmetic disfigurement
  • Anatomical loss(es) that affect one or more body systems (i.e., missing limbs, blindness, deafness, etc.)

 

Mental Impairments

Examples of mental impairments include (but are not limited to):

 

  • Depression
  • Learning disabilities
  • Psychological disorders

 

Limitations

One of the key elements of qualifying under the ADA is proving how your disability limits major life activities. Some limitations include (and are not limited to):

 

  • Caring for oneself
  • Performing manual tasks
  • Seeing
  • Hearing
  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Walking
  • Standing
  • Sitting
  • Reaching
  • Lifting
  • Bending
  • Speaking
  • Breathing
  • Learning
  • Reading
  • Concentrating
  • Thinking
  • Communicating
  • Interacting with others
  • Working

 

Accommodations

Public Accommodation

Title III of the ADA states that “no individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation” (42 U.S.C. § 12182(a)). This means places of public accommodation, like hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, private businesses, stores, and other similar places are accessible to people with disabilities by making reasonable changes to its services and amenities.

 

Plaintiffs must prove 3 elements to prevail in a Title III ADA claim:

 

  1. The plaintiff is disabled within the ADA’s definition of disability;
  2. The defendant owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation; and
  3. The plaintiff was denied public accommodations by the defendant because of their disability.

 

Reasonable Accommodations

Under the ADA, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees who have submitted a request for such accommodations to their supervisor or HR department. Employers have a duty to engage in an interactive process to determine what they can do to accommodate requests.

 

Note that employees must be able to perform their job’s duties and functions, but the employer alone cannot determine whether they are able to perform your job. 

 

Examples of reasonable accommodations include (and are not limited to) the following:

 

  • Job restructuring
  • Extra medical leave (this 
  • Reassignment to another position
  • Lighter duties
  • Modified work schedules 
  • Flexible leave
  • Modification or purchase of equipment and devices
  • Additional training
  • Policy changes
  • Provision of readers, communication access providers, or personal assistants

 

Refusing to engage in the reasonable accommodation process may be grounds for a disability discrimination lawsuit.

 

Contact a Columbus Disability Lawyer

If you believe you have experienced discrimination due to your disability, contact a Columbus disability lawyer right away. There is a limited window of time for filing a charge for disability discrimination in the workplace, so the sooner we can get started on your case, the better. Call the Bryant Legal, LLC Columbus office at 614-704-0546, email attorney Daniel Bryant at dbryant@bryantlegalllc.com, or fill out our contact form.