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Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act

Living with a disability can be challenging. Whether a person was born with a disability or acquired it later in life, a disability can present some obstacles. Nonetheless, a disability does not always mean one cannot do the same things a person without disability can do. While accommodations might be necessary, those living with disabilities can obtain and maintain employment. Unfortunately, people can focus on disabilities, causing it to define, limit and even harm a person in the work environment.

When a person is discriminated against in the workplace because of a disability, it is important to note that this is against the law. According to Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is illegal for private employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. This extends to individuals in the application process as well as those in the hiring, firing and advancement process, as well as factors such as compensation, job training and other conditions and privileges of employment.

The ADA was established as a means to provide and expand equal employment opportunities and the full inclusion of those living with disabilities. When an applicant or employee believes that they are being discriminated against because of their disability, it is possible to take action. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as the Department of Justice are responsible for enforcing Title I of the ADA. When suits alleging employment discrimination are filed with the EEOC, the EEOC may brig suit against private employers.

Being discriminated against is a difficult situation to experience. This is especially true when an employer is discriminating against an individual because of a disability he or she is living with. Because this is against the law, it is possible to take action. A civil action not only punishes an employer for their wrong doings but also helps an employee collect compensation for the damages suffered.

Source: Ada.gov, "Fighting Discrimination in Employment Under the ADA," accessed April 15, 2018

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