Private employers. Alabama does not have a law that prohibits employers from discrimination on the basis of disability. However, private employers with 15 or more employees are covered by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Amendments to the ADA in 2009 significantly broadened its 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. Additional information on the ADA is available.
State funded employers. Alabama law prohibits disability bias on the part of state and local government agencies, public schools, and other employers supported in whole or in part by public funds (AL Code Sec. 21-7-8). The ADA also covers state and local government employers.
Last reviewed August 2017.