The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495 et seq.). The Act covers all employers, regardless of size.
“Individual with a disability” defined. An individual with a disability is a person who:
• Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
• Has a record of such an impairment
• Is regarded by others as having such an impairment
The definition is virtually identical to that of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, amendments to the ADA broadened the definition of “disability” and expressly changed the definition of a “regarded as” disability. Under the amended ADA, a person is regarded as having an ADA disability if he or she is subjected to an adverse employment action (e.g., demotion or firing) because of an actual or perceived impairment. The impairment does not have to substantially limit a major life activity in order to meet the definition of a regarded as disability. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees.
Qualified individual with a disability. A qualified individual with a disability is one who is capable of performing the essential functions of the job in question with reasonable accommodation (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495d).
“Physical or mental impairment” defined. An impairment is any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin or ...