Disability discrimination attorney working on a case

Disability Discrimination Under ADA

The difficulty with navigating the ADA is exemplified by the vagueness of its terms and definitions. Because of the complexity and importance, a disability discrimination attorney is a crucial ally.  In its recently amended form, the ADA has expanded the definition of “impairment” to include a list that is vastly comprehensive. Obvious examples might be job applicants who present with visual impairments or physical limitations confining them to a wheelchair or other assistive ambulatory device. Less obvious examples might include individuals with autoimmune deficiencies, skin disorders, or perfectly healthy qualified individuals related to and caring for family members who have an impairment under the ADA.

Why a Disability Discrimination Attorney is Important

Once more, the ADA presents challenges to applicable employers in that it covers every aspect of the employment process from advertisement and application to discipline, discharge and termination. Employers must be ever mindful of their responsibility to participate in an appropriate interactive process with covered individuals without overstepping often vague boundaries that might unnecessarily expose the employer to liability.

Employers with less than fifteen employees are not completely free from potential liability. In Pennsylvania, employers with four or more employees are covered by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), which largely mirrors the protections and responsibilities provided under the ADA. Smaller employers often erroneously focus on the requirements for eligibility under the ADA and forget or overlook their responsibilities under the PHRA. There are some distinct differences in definition, application, and potential damages between the ADA and PHRA.