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Claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act

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Updated: 4/13/2007 6:37 pm
The Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA (A-D-A), was implemented to protect the rights of disabled people. If you've been disabled from a work-related injury, you can file a claim for protection under the ADA. To be eligible, you must qualify as disabled according to the guidelines set forth in the Act. You're not necessarily entitled to ADA protection just because you qualify for workers' compensation or disability benefits. Not all work-related injuries cause enough physical or mental impairment to 'substantially limit' your activities, and some of these injuries aren't permanent. If you qualify, you're entitled to certain rights under the Act. For example, your employer can't look into your workers' compensation history prior to offering you conditional employment. However, after the employer has made an offer, he or she is allowed to review your history in a medical inquiry or exam, if these procedures are standard for all applicants. It's also illegal for your employer to require a physical examination based on your response to a medical inquiry regarding past on-the-job injuries, unless it's required of all applicants. Even if your employer perceives that you might claim workers' compensation in the future, he or she can't use this as a basis for employment decisions. Employers can, however, refuse to hire or may fire you if you're not able to perform a job without posing a significant risk of harm to the health or safety to yourself or others, if the risk can't be eliminated or minimized by 'reasonable accommodation.' If you'd like more information about claims under the ADA, contact an attorney.
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