The Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits private employers with four or more employees from discriminating against employees or applicants on the basis of a disability (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-5-1et seq.). The Civil Rights of People with Disabilities Act applies to all state employers and prohibits employment practices that discriminate against qualified individuals with a disability (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 42-87-1et seq.).
“Disability” defined. The definition of disability for the state fair employment law follows the definition of disability provided under the state's Civil Rights of People with Disabilities Act. A "disability" is defined as:
• A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
• A record of such an impairment
• Being regarded as having such an impairment
• Any disability that is provided protection under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and federal regulations pertaining to the ADA ( RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-5-6(4); Sec. 42-87-1et seq.)
"Substantially limits" defined. An impairment that substantially limits a major life activity includes an impairment that is episodic or in remission, if the impairment would substantially limit a major life activity when active.
Mitigating measures. The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity is made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as medication, hearing aids, mobility devices, prosthetics (including limbs and devices), and medical supplies, equipment, or appliances. Mitigating measures also include reasonable accommodations and any learned behavioral or neurological modifications that help an individual ...