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What Are Reasonable Accommodations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 in an effort to protect individuals with disabilities from being discriminated against due to their disability. The ADA ensures that these individuals are entitled to fair housing, education, public accommodations and transportation, telecommunications, and employment. In order to enforce the Act, businesses are required to provide “reasonable accommodations” for such individuals and prohibit discrimination. 

The ADA applies to businesses, organizations, labor unions, employment agencies, and government agencies that employ a minimum of 15 workers. 

What Constitutes a Disability Under the ADA?

To receive protection under the ADA, an individual must have a medical condition that meets the definition of disability. This includes any of the following:

  1. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; 
  2. A history of physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or
  3. Being regarded by others as having a disability. 

It may be arguable as to which conditions qualify as a disability under the ADA since the Act fails to specifically list impairments that meet the requirements. Ultimately, the most important factor of whether someone has a disability under the ADA is whether their condition substantially limits at least one major life activity. 

All Employment Decisions are Included

The ADA prohibits businesses from discriminating against individuals with disabilities through all employment decisions. This includes the following:

  • Recruitment
  • Hiring
  • Benefits (health insurance, retirement accounts)
  • Wages 
  • Opportunities for training
  • Assignments or shifts
  • Work conditions
  • Termination

Under the ADA, businesses are prohibited from discriminating against workers with disabilities. This applies to all employment decisions including:

  • Recruitment
  • Hiring
  • Wages
  • Benefits
  • Training opportunities
  • Work conditions
  • Assignments, projects, or shifts
  • Termination

Additionally, it is the responsibility of the business to take action against any instances of harassment or discrimination by any supervisors, co-workers, or clients against an individual with a disability.

Which Accommodations are “Reasonable?”

Under the ADA employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations. But what exactly is reasonable? A reasonable accommodation would be a different way of doing something that allows an individual with a disability to still perform all essential job tasks. However, it’s important to note that an employer is not required to provide any accommodations that would create an undue hardship for it. This is determined on a case-by-case basis and would take into account things such as the size of the business, the financial health of the business, and the responsibilities of the worker. 

The IL Employment Law Attorneys at ST Legal Group Can Help

If you believe that you have been discriminated against under the ADA by your employer, you should be able to remedy the situation through monetary compensation and/or reinstatement to your position. A knowledgeable and experienced Illinois employment law attorney can help you to fight for what you deserve. The qualified attorneys at ST Legal Group can help to protect your employment rights. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!