Virginia ADA: What you need to know

The Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of disability (VA Code Sec. 2.2-3900et seq.). The Virginians with Disabilities Act (VDA) prohibits employment practices that discriminate against qualified individuals with a disability (VA Code Sec. 51.5-41). The law covers all employers, regardless of size (Yates v. Volunteer Health Care Sys., 783 F. Supp. 1002 (W.D. Va. 1992)).

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Qualified individual with a disability. A qualified individual with a disability is able to perform the essential functions of his or her job. The VDA prohibits employers from making employment decisions on the basis of the disability.

Reasonable accommodation. The VDA also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to allow employees with disabilities to continue performing their jobs, unless making such accommodations imposes an undue hardship or burden on the employer. The determination of whether any particular accommodation presents an undue hardship or burden is made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the employer's size and finances and health and safety considerations. The Act includes a presumption that any accommodation with a cost of $500 or more to the employer imposes an undue burden on employers with 50 or fewer employees.

Undue Hardship

Undue business hardship is determined on the basis of the size of the facility, nature and composition of the workforce, nature and cost of the accommodation, whether the individual with the disability will pose a health and safety threat, and the possibility that other prospective employees will be able to use the same accommodation. It is assumed under the VDA that an accommodation of $500 or more is an undue ...

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