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Is Sleep Apnea A Disability Under The Adaaa

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Q What Are The Ada’s Requirements For Public Transit Buses

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A. The Department of Transportation has issued regulations mandating accessible public transit vehicles and facilities. The regulations include requirements that all new fixed-route, public transit buses be accessible and that supplementary paratransit services be provided for those individuals with disabilities who cannot use fixed-route bus service. For information on how to contact the Department of Transportation, see page 25-26.

Q Are There Any Limits On The Kinds Of Modifications In Policies Practices And Procedures Required By The Ada

A. Yes. The ADA does not require modifications that would fundamentally alter the nature of the services provided by the public accommodation. For example, it would not be discriminatory for a physician specialist who treats only burn patients to refer a deaf individual to another physician for treatment of a broken limb or respiratory ailment. To require a physician to accept patients outside of his or her specialty would fundamentally alter the nature of the medical practice.

Q Does The Ada Cover Private Apartments And Private Homes

A. The ADA does not cover strictly residential private apartments and homes. If, however, a place of public accommodation is located in a residential setting, such as a rental/sales office, doctor’s office or day care center, those portions of the residential property used for that purpose are subject to the ADA’s requirements.

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Q When Can An Employer Ask An Applicant To Self

A. A pre-employment inquiry about a disability is allowed if required by another federal law or regulation such as those applicable to veterans with disabilities and veterans of the Vietnam era. Pre-employment inquiries about disabilities may be necessary under such laws to identify applicants or clients with disabilities in order to provide them with required special services. An employer also may ask an applicant to self-identify as an individual with a disability when the employer is voluntarily using this information to benefit individuals with a disability.

Federal contractors and subcontractors who are covered by the affirmative action requirements of section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 may invite individuals with disabilities to identify themselves on a job application form or by other pre-employment inquiry, to satisfy the section 503 affirmative action requirements. Employers who request such information must observe section 503 requirements regarding the manner in which such information is requested and used and the procedures for maintaining such information as a separate, confidential record, apart from regular personnel records.

Q How Is Readily Achievable Determined In A Multisite Business

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A. In determining whether an action to make a public accommodation accessible would be “readily achievable,” the overall size of the parent corporation or entity is only one factor to be considered. The ADA also permits consideration of the financial resources of the particular facility or facilities involved and the administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities to the parent entity.

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Q Does The Ada Require Employers To Develop Written Job Descriptions

A. No. The ADA does not require employers to develop or maintain job descriptions. However, a written job description that is prepared before advertising or interviewing applicants for a job will be considered as evidence along with other relevant factors. If an employer uses job descriptions, they should be reviewed to make sure they accurately reflect the actual functions of a job. A job description will be most helpful if it focuses on the results or outcome of a job function, not solely on the way it customarily is performed. A reasonable accommodation may enable a person with a disability to accomplish a job function in a manner that is different from the way an employee who does not have a disability may accomplish the same function.

Three Steps To Determine A Disability

1. A disability can be a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. A major life activity can include walking, caring for oneself, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, etc. A major life activity can also include the operation of a bodily function, such as the immune system, digestive system, brain, respiratory system, etc. 42 U.S.C. §12102.

2. You can have a disability under the ADA if you have a record of such an impairment. This definition is simple if you have a medical record of having a physical or mental impairment, then you have a disability under the ADA.

3. You can have a disability under the ADA if you are regarded as having such an impairment. An individual satisfies this definition if the individual establishes that he/she has been discriminated against because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment. 42 U.S.C. §12102. If an employer perceives you as having a physical or mental impairment and discriminates against you because of that perception, then you likely have a disability under the ADA. Also, if you have an actual physical or mental impairment that is obvious/noticeable and your employer discriminates against you because if it, then you likely have a disability under the ADA.

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Q Are Alcoholics Covered By The Ada

A. Yes. While a current illegal user of drugs is not protected by the ADA if an employer acts on the basis of such use, a person who currently uses alcohol is not automatically denied protection. An alcoholic is a person with a disability and is protected by the ADA if s/he is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job. An employer may be required to provide an accommodation to an alcoholic. However, an employer can discipline, discharge or deny employment to an alcoholic whose use of alcohol adversely affects job performance or conduct. An employer also may prohibit the use of alcohol in the workplace and can require that employees not be under the influence of alcohol.

Impairments Limiting Life Activities

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People with disabilities mainly those with bodily injuries or function conditions and basic daily accommodations are included in major life activities. The ADA offers examples of undue hardship and reasonable accommodations. The ADA also prevents employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants who have mental and physical impairments that limit major life activities. Some examples of these life activities include:

  • Seeing
  • Sitting
  • Reading

Treatment is usually to help slow down or soothe the pain. The Rehabilitation Act standards for determining employment discrimination are the same as those used in title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Is Obesity Covered By The Ada

Can you be denied a job based on your weight? Do you have to provide accommodations for overweight employees? The answer to the question of can I be denied a job because of my weight, just like the question of do I have to accommodate an overweight employee, depends on what jurisdiction you are in.

In Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, the answer is that obesity is covered under the ADA. An employer in those states must accommodate an overweight employee under the ADA.

However, in Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana, Iowa, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, an employer does not need to accommodate an overweight person based on the ADA, and you can be refused a job for being overweight.

However, it is not as simple as that, and that is only a list of twenty-two states. Even within those twenty-two states the answer is not as straightforward as it may seem.

For the twenty-eight states not listed, the question remains whether the ADA covers weight problems.

Q Can An Employer Establish Specific Attendance And Leave Policies

A. An employer can establish attendance and leave policies that are uniformly applied to all employees, regardless of disability, but may not refuse leave needed by an employee with a disability if other employees get such leave. An employer also may be required to make adjustments in leave policy as a reasonable accommodation. The employer is not obligated to provide additional paid leave, but accommodations may include leave flexibility and unpaid leave.

A uniformly applied leave policy does not violate the ADA because it has a more severe effect on an individual because of his/her disability. However, if an individual with a disability requests a modification of such a policy as a reasonable accommodation, an employer may be required to provide it, unless it would impose an undue hardship.

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Q Who Is Protected From Employment Discrimination

A. Employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities is prohibited. This includes applicants for employment and employees. An individual is considered to have a “disability” if s/he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. Persons discriminated against because they have a known association or relationship with an individual with a disability also are protected.

The first part of the definition makes clear that the ADA applies to persons who have impairments and that these must substantially limit major life activities. There are two non-exhaustive lists of examples of major life activities: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, interacting with others, and working.

Major life activities also include the operation of major bodily functions, including: the immune system special sense organs and skin normal cell growth and digestive, genitourinary, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive functions.

Ada Not Violated By Refusal To Hire Due To Risk Of Future Disability

On October 29, 2019, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held in Shell v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company that the Americans with Disabilities Acts definition of disability is not met where an employer regards an applicant as not presently having a disability but at high risk of developing one.

Ronald Shell applied for a position with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company that required the operation of heavy equipment, which BNSF considers a safety-sensitive position. After extending Shell a conditional offer of employment, BNSF refused to hire Shell after a medical evaluation indicated that his body-mass index exceeded 40.

BNSF does not hire applicants with a BMI of 40 or greater i.e., class III obesity for safety-sensitive positions, reasoning that persons with class III obesity have a higher risk of developing certain conditions that can result in sudden incapacitation, like sleep apnea, diabetes, and heart disease.

Shell challenged BNSFs refusal to hire him under the ADA, alleging that BNSF discriminated against him because of a perceived disability. The issue that reached the Seventh Circuit was whether the ADAs regarded as prong covers a situation where an employer views an applicant as at risk for developing a qualifying impairment in the future.

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Q Does The Ada Require That An Employer Post A Notice Explaining Its Requirements

A. The ADA requires that employers post a notice describing the provisions of the ADA. It must be made accessible, as needed, to individuals with disabilities. A poster is available from EEOC summarizing the requirements of the ADA and other federal legal requirements for nondiscrimination for which EEOC has enforcement responsibility. EEOC also provides guidance on making this information available in accessible formats for people with disabilities.

What This Means For Workers

For employers, its long past time to recognize that obesity can present liability under the ADA. Employers do not have to rubber stamp-approve all obesity-related accommodation requests but nor can employers automatically feed those requests into the shredder. They need consideration like any other ADA accommodation request. Additionally, employers need to stay mindful of liability for disability-based harassment of employees and that includes severely obese employees. Stereotypes, derogatory comments and other weight-related content can form the basis for an obesity-related harassment or hostile work environment claim.

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You Are More Than Your Disability

Many people are reluctant to discuss their disability or medical condition in an employment situation for fear that potential employers will associate disability with limitation. Our mission is to find jobs for qualified individuals, especially for those with a disability.

Faqs About The American Disabilities Act

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WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT THE AMERICAN DISABILITIES ACT?

– Reasonable Accommodation in Work or School- Narcolepsy is a disorder covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.Americans With Disabilities Act 1990 – Employers may not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities who can perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodations.- It is unlawful to discriminate in any employment practices such as recruitment, hiring, job assignments, pay, training, promotions, benefits, leave, firing, etc.- All employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the employer can show that the accommodation would be an undue hardship for the employer

JobEmployers are required to provide accommodation for qualified persons with known disabilities. It is your responsibility to inform your employer of the fact that you have narcolepsy and explain what it is. You may need to have your health professional help with this documentation. It is also a good idea to come up with suggestions of what accommodations you feel would be reasonable and helpful, e.g. more frequent or longer breaks during the day for which you will make up the extra time modifying work schedules asking for a place and permission to take a nap during the day trading a monotonous task that is not an essential part of your job for a more active task.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 800-3302

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What To Do If Sleep Loss Is Hurting Your Job Performance

If you are suffering from chronic sleep deprivation and it is affecting your job, you should take the following steps to protect yourself:

1. Notify the company that you suffer from a disability covered by the ADA.

You must clearly assert that you have a disability to gain the protections of the ADA. Notifying the company of your disability protects you from being fired or demoted because of your disability.

The best approach is usually to tell someone in human resources, though you can also discuss the situation with your boss. Check your companys employee handbook to see whether it has specific procedures for reporting a disability.

Its best to provide this notification in writing so that you will have a record of it. A short email is fine.

2. Request a modified work schedule or time off.

Employers with 15 or more employees are required to make a reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with a disability. A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment that makes it possible for an employee to perform the essential functions of his or her job or to enjoy the equal benefits and privileges of employment.

While these terms have specific meanings under the law, the upshot is that you are responsible for requesting a workplace accommodation for a disability. Time off may be an acceptable accommodation.

3. Get a doctor and/or get your doctor up to speed.

If you dont have a doctor helping you with these accommodation requests, get one.

4. Get a lawyer.

What Is The List Of Disabilities Covered Under Ada

The list of disabilities covered under American with Disabilities Act refers to all the disabilities for which an employee is protected from discrimination by employers. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a civil rights law, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities.

The American with Disabilities Act helps with employers or other people with disabilities from their job functions. In employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications, the ADA outlaws discrimination on the basis of disability.

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Q Does The Ada Permit An Individual With A Disability To Sue A Business When That Individual Believes That Discrimination Is About To Occur Or Must The Individual Wait For The Discrimination To Occur

A. The ADA public accommodation provisions permit an individual to allege discrimination based on a reasonable belief that discrimination is about to occur. This provision, for example, allows a person who uses a wheelchair to challenge the planned construction of a new place of public accommodation, such as a shopping mall, that would not be accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs. The resolution of such challenges prior to the construction of an inaccessible facility would enable any necessary remedial measures to be incorporated in the building at the planning stage, when such changes would be relatively inexpensive.

What Are Workplace Accommodations

An accommodation makes it possible for a person with a disability to complete their job duties by adjusting their work surroundings. It could include:1

  • Special equipment
  • Changes to your work environment, schedule, or duties

Different people even those with the same disability may have different workplace needs.1

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Q What Limitations Does The Ada Impose On Medical Examinations And Inquiries About Disability

A. An employer may not ask or require a job applicant to take a medical examination before making a job offer. It cannot make any pre-offer inquiry about a disability or the nature or severity of a disability. An employer may, however, ask questions about the ability to perform specific job functions and may, with certain limitations, ask an individual with a disability to describe or demonstrate how s/he would perform these functions.

An employer may condition a job offer on the satisfactory result of a post-offer medical examination or medical inquiry if this is required of all entering employees in the same job category. A post-offer examination or inquiry does not have to be job-related and consistent with business necessity.

After a person starts work, a medical examination or inquiry of an employee must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. Employers may conduct employee medical examinations where there is evidence of a job performance or safety problem that they reasonably believe is caused by a medical condition, examinations required by other federal laws, return-to-work examinations when they reasonably believe that an employee will be unable to do his job or may pose a direct threat because of a medical condition, and voluntary examinations that are part of employee health programs.

Tests for illegal use of drugs are not medical examinations under the ADA and are not subject to the restrictions of such examinations.

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