The Idaho Human Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of disability (ID Code Sec. 67-5901et seq.). The Act also prohibits employers from discrimination that is based on a person's association with a person with a disability (ID Code Sec. 67-5909). The Act covers all public employers and private employers with five or more employees.
Retaliation prohibited. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against a person who has opposed unlawful discrimination, or who has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the Act. 'Disability' Defined
The term "disability" means a physical or mental condition of a person that constitutes a substantial limitation to that person and can be demonstrated by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques. A person with a disability is one who:
- Has such a disability
- Has a record of such a disability, or
- Is regarded as having such a disability (ID Code Sec. 67-5902(15)).
Federal law compared. Although the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has similar provisions to the state law, amendments changed the ADA's 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 courts in Idaho look to federal law for guidance in the interpretation of the state human rights law. Therefore, the changes in the ADA may ...