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Americans with Disabilities Act

Employment Discrimination

Title I of the ADA prohibits private (both for-profit and not-for-profit) and public (i.e., government) employers with twenty-five or more employees from discriminating "against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment."

Unlike the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), passed by Congress in 1967, which only requires equal treatment for older workers (defined as persons at least forty years old), the ADA imposes affirmative obligations on employers regarding employment of the disabled. Specifically, the ADA defines unlawful discrimination to include the following:

  1. (A) not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless [the employer] can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of [the employer]; or
  2. (B) denying employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee who is an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, if such denial is based on the need [of the employer] to make reasonable accommodation to the physical or mental impairments of the employer or applicant.

The ADA protects persons with a disability, which means, with respect to an individual:

  1. (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
  2. (B) a record [i.e., a history] of such an impairment; or
  3. (C) being regarded [by others] as having such an impairment.

Many older persons ought to qualify as persons with a disability so defined.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1Americans with Disabilities Act - Employment Discrimination, Discrimination In Public Services And Accommodations, Conclusion