Disability in Employment Law
If you have a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to work or carry out certain tasks, you may be able to qualify for disability benefits from your employer. This is known as an incapacity. However, if you are unsure about this, you should seek medical advice from a qualified HR professional. Moreover, certain progressive conditions are also classified as disabilities in employment law. These may include motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, and forms of dementia. The list of conditions is extensive, and each case must be dealt with separately.
The ADA and FEHA define disability as any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a person’s major life activities. The ADA protects both persons with disabilities as well as those who identify with disabilities. This act applies to all employers, including private employers, state and local governments, labor unions, and employment agencies with fifteen or more employees. These laws protect the rights of people with disabilities and ensure that everyone has equal access to employment opportunities.
While a disability can be classified as a disability discrimination under employment law, the EEOC has outlined its position in the context of the law. This means that employers are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees. This may include modifications to work schedules and assignments, special equipment, and different bathroom facilities. The EEOC also maintains a large collection of fact sheets, question and answer documents, and other publications.
What Is Classed As a Disability in Employment Law?
A request for reasonable accommodation can be difficult to identify. The employer may need medical documentation. However, this information must be kept separate from the employer’s file. In addition, the employer may also want to conduct a limited medical examination. The employer should make a thorough investigation of any disability or condition if they are concerned that it may affect the quality of their job. They must also make sure that they are providing reasonable accommodations in a manner that does not impose undue hardship on them.
An employee with a mental health disability may seek accommodations such as alternative keyboards or voice recognition software. An employee with a learning disability may seek modifications in his or her work schedule or receive more frequent performance reviews. Those with visual impairments may need to bring a job coach to the workplace. Additionally, employees with disabilities may require additional breaks or time off for medical treatments. Oftentimes, employers are required to make these adjustments to accommodate the condition.
Lenhoff v. Johnson Controls World Services, Inc. was another case in which an employee sued his or her employer on the basis of a perceived disability. In that case, mere knowledge of an impairment did not suffice to prove that the employer regarded an employee as disabled. Furthermore, the plaintiff did not provide evidence that the employer perceived the employee as disabled. It was also unclear whether the employer was aware of the underlying impairment, which made the employer dismiss him.