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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as state and local human rights laws, prohibits companies from discriminating against disabled persons who are able to perform the essential functions of their jobs with or without reasonable accommodation. A “disability” under the ADA is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits an individual in performing major life activities or major bodily functions. While some minor impairments are not disabilities, a person may be entitled to ADA protection if he or she has difficulty walking, thinking, hearing, speaking, or has a serious medical condition like cancer, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis.
Not only are disabled employees protected from firing and failures to hire, but they are also entitled to reasonable accommodations that allow them to perform their job duties. Reasonable accommodations can include providing assistance; reassignment to a vacant position; and medical leave.
Employees are also protected against discrimination for their association with a disabled person. An employer cannot take an action against an employee because he or she advocates on behalf of the disabled or has a disabled relative. While you are not entitled to reasonable accommodations under the ADA for the care of a disabled relative, you may have the right to leave under the FMLA to care for a disabled family member.
If you believe that you have been or are currently being discriminated against because of a disability, contact a Western Pennsylvania disability discrimination lawyer today for a free evaluation of your case at (412) 230-8436.