The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 and was amended in 2009. The law’s purpose is to guarantee that those with disabilities experience the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. But like any law, many of the ADA’s details can be confusing. That is why we have created a list of of ADA FAQs and answers.
Common ADA Questions
ADA FAQs #1
Q: If I am an individual with a disability, do I have an advantage over a non-disabled person when applying for a job?
A: No, employers can choose the best applicant regardless of a disability.
ADA FAQs #2
Q: Is an employer required to make accommodations for an employee with a disability?
A: Employers are required to make “reasonable accommodations” to aid employees with disabilities.
ADA FAQs #3
Q: What are examples of “reasonable accommodations”?
A: There are many types of employee accommodations considered reasonable. It depends on each particular work situation. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Creating more accessible work facilities
- Modifying work equipment
- Altering work schedules
- Adjusting examinations and training
ADA FAQs #4
Q: Does my employer have to find someone else to perform a function for me If I am disabled and cannot perform it?
A: No, your employer doesn’t have to reallocate this essential function.
ADA FAQs #5
Q: Can an employer use health and safety as a reason not to hire a person with a disability?
A: Yes, if your employer can’t eliminate the risk to health and safety he/she does not have to hire a person with a disability.
ADA FAQs #6
Q: Does the same attendance standard hold for employees with disabilities?
A: Employers can have the same attendance policies for all. However, an employer may have to adjust the leave policy to reasonably accommodate a person with disabilities.
ADA FAQs #7
Q: Can an employer refuse to hire an applicant or fire a current employee who is illegally using drugs?
A: Yes. A “qualified individual with a disability” protected by the ADA excludes individuals who participate in the illegal use of drugs.
ADA FAQs #8
Q: Does the ADA cover alcoholics
A: Yes. While a current illegal user of drugs is not protected, someone who currently uses alcohol is not automatically denied protection. An alcoholic is a person with a disability and is protected by the ADA if he or she is qualified to perform the functions of the job.
However, an employer can discipline or discharge employment when the alcoholic’s use of alcohol adversely affects job performance or conduct. An employer also may prohibit the use of alcohol in the workplace.
As we mentioned in the opening paragraph, the law can be a difficult thing to make sense of. If you have questions and would like to speak to someone who can provide more context and explanation, please contact the ADA Information line. The U.S. Department of Justice provides information about the Americans with Disabilities Act through a toll-free line: 800-514-0301 (voice); 800 – 514 – 0383 (TTY)
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