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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manes

Am I Protected By ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 protects the rights of those with disabilities, who are employed or looking for employment, from workplace discrimination. This law defines “disability” in a few specific ways. You are protected by ADA if you meet the definition of disability as defined by the law.

ADA protects anyone who has a disability and is qualified to work. A mental or physical problem that keeps you from a major life activity is a disability covered by ADA. An employee perceived to have a disability, even if he or she does not, is protected by the law. Do you have a disability under ADA?

Employers Covered By ADA

It is illegal for a company to discriminate against a possible employee or current employee who is a part of the protected classes. The law specifically prohibits disability discrimination in the following workplaces.

  1. state and local government services

Am I Protected By ADA?
  1. places of public accommodation

  2. telecommunications

  3. transportation

  4. labor organizations

  5. all employers (of 15+ employees)

Basically, discrimination against any employee with disabilities by an employer is illegal. Circumstances may arise in your workplace that feel discriminatory. If this happens, please call us so we can help you decipher this law and protect your rights under ADA.

Employer Practices Covered By ADA

Employers covered by ADA may not discriminate against individuals with disabilities or an employee with a disabled family member in any of the following areas.

  1. hiring

  2. job training

  3. work assignments

  4. salary

  5. promotions and benefits

  6. leave

  7. firing

It is unlawful for your employer to mistreat an employee in any of the above ways based on the employee’s disability. You are protected by the ADA if your disability is covered by the law.

Under the ADA, an employee with disabilities has to meet their job requirements and work duties before employer accommodation can be requested. What duties does an employee have under the ADA?

ADA Amendments To Broaden Disabilities Protected

In 2008, ADA Amendments Act amended ADA of 1990 reinstating the Supreme Court’s intent for the law to protect people with disabilities from workplace discrimination. They found that specific court cases narrowed what had been intended to be a broad scope for disability discrimination. Although each amendment is meant to add more clarity, the fact is ADA has become more and more complex.

What Isn’t A Disability Under ADA?

ADA also includes a section on what are not disabilities. One rough parameter states that a disability protected under the ADA must be a long term disability or a disability that will impact the individual long term. However, if a temporary disability doesn’t heal correctly and becomes a permanent disability, ADA would cover that individual.

The following are a few circumstances not covered by the ADA as a disability.

  1. sexuality

Am I Protected By ADA?
  1. gender identity disorders (not from physical impairments)

  2. kleptomania

  3. psychoactive substance-use disorders (from illegal drug use)

  4. broken limbs

  5. common cold

However, ADA does provide for uncommon situations in regards to these items that are not generally considered a disability. If you’d like help finding out your rights for your particular situation, contact us.

So Am I Protected By ADA?

You are protected by ADA if you have a long term disability and you are able to be employed. And yet, that only brushes the surface of ADA. The law is intended to be a broad one to protect individuals who might suffer at the hands of employers so there are many lawsuits that have refined what ADA covers. ADA also provides for unusual circumstances.

Don’t allow employee discrimination to go uncontested. Call us so we can help you understand your rights under ADA and how to fight for your rights.

Don’t hesitate, talk to an employment attorney: (412) 626-5626 or

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