The Americans with Disabilities Act
In addition to the federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, skin color, national origin, sex, and age, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is another significant law that protects disabled employees and job applicants. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces and regulates all employment-based aspects of the ADA by requiring that all employers with fifteen or more employees comply with the ADA.
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits an employer from unfairly discriminating against individuals meeting certain disability qualifications in all aspects of employment. Such areas include, but are not limited to, applicant screening processes, interview tactics, selection procedures, training and development opportunities, transfer or promotion to other positions, benefits and compensation, and termination decisions.
Although the implied recipient of the Americans with Disabilities Act is any disabled individual, the law also equally protects other qualifying individuals. Therefore, according to the ADA, the following individuals are protected against employment discrimination:
- individuals with a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities"
- individuals with a known “record of such an impairment"
- individuals that have “a known association or relationship with a disabled individual"