The Utah Antidiscrimination Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against an otherwise qualified individual on the basis of disability (UT Code Sec. 34A-5-106 et seq.). The law covers all public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees.
Retaliation prohibited. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against an applicant or employee who has opposed an unlawful employment practice, filed a charge, or testified, assisted, or participated in any proceeding, investigation, or hearing under the Act.
Public employers and reasonable accommodation. The State Employee's Family and Medical Leave Rules and Disability Bias Law requires state agencies to consult with the Division of Risk Management before denying an employee a request for a reasonable accommodation. The agency may request fitness-for-duty medical evaluations (UT Admin. Rule R477-8-7).
"Disability" defined. The state law uses the term disability as defined and covered by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA defines a disability as:
- A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity,
- A record of having such an impairment, or
- Being regarded as having such an impairment.
Amendments that became effective January 1, 2009, broadened the ADA's 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.