Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Lawsuit

If have been discriminated against by a business due to a disability, you may be able to pursue an Americans with Disabilities Act Lawsuit.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from being discriminated against in several areas including employment and public accommodations. With regard to employment, the ADA applies to employers who have 15 or more employees.  The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee who has a disability, a history of a disability, or who is even perceived to have a disability. The law also prohibits employers from refusing to hire an employee due to a disability or refusing to promote an employee due to a disability.  An employer also may not choose to layoff an employee due to a disability.

Under the ADA, both physical and mental disabilities are protected.  The law defines a disability as having an impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity.  A major life activity includes, but is not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, standing, sitting, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, communicating, and interacting with others.  A major life activity also includes major bodily functions (e.g., special sense organs, digestive, bowel, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, reproduction functions, etc.).

The ADA also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with a covered disability.  An employee is considered qualified if he or she has the necessary prerequisites for the job and can complete the essential functions of the job with accommodations.  A reasonable accommodation enables an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to get a job and perform the tasks of a particular job.  A reasonable accommodation may include physical changes (installing a ramp or modifying the layout of a workspace or restroom), technological changes (using screen reader software or using videophones), communication changes (providing sign language interpreters or increasing the size of print), and policy changes (allowing service animals in the workplace).

If an employee believes that his or her rights under the ADA have been violated, the employee can file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  This is the federal agency in charge of enforcing the ADA and other laws which seek to prevent discrimination in the workplace. In some states, an employee should also file a charge of discrimination with the relevant state agency.  A charge of discrimination must be filed within 180 days.  This deadline is 300 days in states that also have a law prohibiting disability discrimination.  Once the charge is filed, the EEOC will investigate, dismiss, try to mediate with the employer, or litigate on behalf of the employee.  Once the EEOC has processed a claim, it will issue a right to sue letter which allows the employee to file a lawsuit against the employer in court.  Once the right to sue letter is issued, an employee has 90 days to file a lawsuit.

If the employee’s lawsuit is successful, an employee can be awarded backpay (the amount of money the employee lost due to the employer’s unlawful actions) and front pay (the amount of money the employee will likely lose in the future).  An aggrieved employee can also receive compensatory and punitive damages if the employer’s unlawful act was intentional (although the ADA provides for caps on how much an employee can receive).

Call an experienced trial attorney to help you file an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit

If you need an experienced and successful trial attorney to help you protect your rights under the ADA, contact our firm and discuss your case with one of our lawyers in complete confidence.

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