ADA laws & safety compliance analysis

ADA: What you need to know


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits disability discrimination. In the workplace, employers cannot discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. Reasonable accommodation by employers is required absent undue hardship. In light of the recent ADA amendments, employers should have forms, policies, and procedures for handling reasonable accommodation requests. The amendments are likely to increase the requests for reasonable accommodation by employers. Final ADA regulations implementing the amendments are effective May 24, 2011.

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The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits genetic information discrimination against employees or job applicants. Final regulations implementing GINA are effective January 10, 2011.

Some states, such as California and Massachusetts have broader disability discrimination laws. Many states, including Texas, have laws that mirror the ADA amendments. Most states have laws prohibiting disability discrimination and genetic information discrimination in the workplace.

Who Is Covered by the ADA?

Title I of the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against a qualified individual based on disability. It applies to private employers with 15 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, and labor organizations. The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business (42 USC 12102et seq.).

Federal employees. Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits federal employers from discriminating against qualified individuals on the basis of a disability and requires affirmative action by ...

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