The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits discrimination in employment against a qualified individual with a physical or mental disability (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495 et seq.). The Act also prohibits discrimination against any employee or prospective employee based on a positive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related test result and prohibits requesting or requiring an HIV test as a condition of employment. Individuals with other diseases are protected from discrimination if they meet the statutory definition of being a qualified individual with a disability. The Act covers all public and private employers in the state, including employment agencies and labor unions.
Individual with a disability. An “individual with a disability” is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities or has a record of such an impairment or is regarded by others as having such an impairment.
Impairment. An “impairment” is defined to include any physical condition that affects a body system (e.g., respiratory, digestive, reproductive) or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. Specifically included within the definition of physical or mental impairment are the following: cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, emotional and mental illnesses, drug addiction, and alcoholism. In the case of substance abuse, however, an individual engaged in current, active drug abuse that inhibits job performance or presents a safety threat in the workplace is not considered a qualified individual with a disability.
Substantially limits. "Substantially limits" refers to the degree that the impairment affects an individual's employability. An individual with a disability who is likely to experience difficulty in securing, retaining, or advancing in employment would be considered substantially limited (