The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) protects employees from employment discrimination on the basis of disability. To prove an employee has an actual disability, the employee must show he or she has “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual.” Each of those terms is defined by the ADA and by case law and can require a very technical showing. To find out if you are protected, you should speak with a Cleveland employee discrimination lawyer or ADA lawyer.

It is important to note that the ADA also protects employees who do not have an actual disability, but who are mistakenly “regarded as” disabled by their employers. In addition, the ADA protects employees who no longer have an actual disability but did in the past—known as having a “record of” a disability. Lastly, the ADA prohibits discrimination against employees who do not have a disability, but who are “associated” with someone who does, for instance, a spouse or child.

What is an ADA reasonable accommodation?

Under the Ohio and federal disability discrimination laws, employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee with a disability who can perform the essential functions of the job “with or without a reasonable accommodation.” A reasonable accommodation is a modification of workplace policies or procedures that would allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations of the known physical or mental limitations of an employee with a disability unless the employer can show doing so would pose an undue hardship.

Common examples of reasonable accommodations include making existing facilities accessible, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquiring or modifying equipment, reassignment to a vacant position, and possibly medical leave. This is not an exhaustive list. Contact a Cleveland ADA lawyer to understand your rights.