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What are My Rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

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Signed into law in 1990 by President George Bush, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) extends civil rights protections to those with physical or mental disabilities. It prevents discrimination against those with disabilities and provides equal opportunities in employment.

Private employers with at least 15 employees must conform to the ADA. Chicago and the state of Illinois may have different ADA regulations on top of federal employment law. The ADA protects employees with:

  • A disability. The ADA protects those with physical or mental impairments that limit their lives in a substantial way.
  • A history of impairment. An employer cannot discriminate against an employee based on his or her previous disability.
  • Employer perception of disability. If the employer believes the employee to be disabled ― even if the employer is incorrect ―the employee is still protected from discrimination under the ADA.

You must be a qualified worker with disabilities to be protected by the ADA. This means you are capable of performing the essential duties of the job ― with or without reasonable accommodation. To be more specific:

  • Essential duties are the duties of the job fundamental to the position.
  • Reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment that allows an employee to perform the essential duties of the job. However, an employer isn’t required to provide reasonable accommodation if it will result in undue hardship to the business, financial or otherwise.

You can see that navigating your way through employment law can be tricky, whether you are an employee or an employer. Having a Chicago federal employment attorney on your side can help avoid any potential pitfalls.

Goldman & Ehrlich brings 25 years of experience to the table. We defend you and your company with firm and persuasive attorneys who are skilled at mediation as well as litigation. Contact us today for your employment law questions and concerns.