Disabled Kentuckians have the right to work just like those who are not disabled. However, even with greater attention paid to worker rights and fairness, disability discrimination continues to be a problem. Workers who are confronted with this type of mistreatment might have a vague notion of what constitutes disability discrimination, but are not completely sure the behavior meets the criteria. They are commonly constrained by a lack of knowledge about how it can be addressed. When this is of concern, having legal assistance is vital.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) provides certain protections and accords reasonable accommodation to disabled workers. When a person is disabled and can do a job, there can be no job discrimination because of the disability. A person will be considered disabled if there is a physical or mental impairment that presents a substantial limitation for major life activities. If the person has a history of being disabled or an employer believes the person is disabled, ADA provides protection even if there is no diagnosed disability. There must be a substantial impairment to be protected the ADA. This is an impairment that hinders or prevents activities related to the senses, the ability to walk, breathe, complete manual tasks, care for oneself, learn or work.

Despite the disability, the person must be able to complete the basic aspects of the job. This is with or without reasonable accommodation. The employer’s requirements for the job must be met and the essential functions must be doable. Reasonable accommodation is an adaptation the employer must give to a qualified worker to be employed. It can include: the modification or granting of devices and equipment; a job restructuring; modified or limited work schedules; reassignment; adjustment or modification of policies and training materials; giving interpreters and readers; and having an accessible workplace for those who are disabled.

Some employers can be shielded from allegations of disability discrimination if the requirements present an undue hardship on the employer. For people who believe they were qualified for a job and were not hired because of a disability or believe they have faced other levels of disability discrimination, there could be the justification to file a lawsuit. A law firm that helps people with disability discrimination and other employment issues should be contacted for a consultation to determine the next step.