The Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. The Act covers all public and private employers regardless of size (MN Stat. Sec. 363A.01 et seq.).
The term “disability” means:
• A physical, sensory, or mental impairment that materially limits one or more major life activities
• Having a record of such an impairment
• Being regarded by others as having such an impairment
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compared. Although the 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.
Under state law, a “qualified individual with a disability” means a disabled person who, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions required of all applicants for the position.
ADA compared. Under the ADA, employers are prohibited from discriminating against an individual with a disability who is qualified to perform the job in question. A person is qualified if he or she can perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation.
Employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide reasonable accommodation for the disability of a qualified individual, unless the accommodation would pose an undue business ...