ADA Employment Basics: When You Apply for a Job - Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in 1990, prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment as well as in schools, transportation and both public and private locations that are open to the public.

Generally, private and government employers with 15 or more employees may not discriminate against people with disabilities. So if you have a disability that substantially limits a major life activity - for example walking, breathing, learning, seeing or hearing - and are qualified to do a job, employers may not discriminate against you in any employment aspect.

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To be qualified for a job under the ADA, you must satisfy the employer's requirements for that specific job such as skills, experience or education. You must also be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. In other words, the employer must (unless it would cause undue hardship such as expense) change the job or work environment to accommodate you, for example by providing or modifying devices, adjusting training materials and providing readers and interpreters.

This is a very general overview of ADA employment requirements - you can read more on this comprehensive law at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website.

How ADA Impacts Job Applicants with Disabilities

When applying for a job, an employer:

  • Cannot ask if you are disabled, or the severity or nature of your disability.
  • Can ask if you can perform the job duties with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Can ask you to demonstrate how you will perform the job duties with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Cannot require a medical examination before you are offered a job.
  • Can require passing a medical exam after offering you the job but only if all entering employees in the same job category must take the exam.
  • Cannot turn you down because of what the medical examination reveals about your disability unless the reasons are job-related.
  • Cannot refuse to hire you because of your disability if you can perform the essential functions of the job with an accommodation.

Once you have been hired, the employer cannot ask questions about your disability or require a medical exam unless this is related to the job and necessary for the conduct of the employer's business.

Note that it is generally the employee's responsibility to notify the employer that an accommodation is needed.

We Can Help if You Believe that You Have Been Discriminated Against Because of a Disability

If you or a family member has experienced discrimination of any kind including employment discrimination, has been harmed in any type of personal injury or needs help with any family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Livingston, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.