The Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) is an important civil rights law. If you have not been involved directly with the law in any way, you may be uncertain about what it is. Even if you have had reason to use or refer to this law, you may want to have a handy summary of the basic points, and a list of links for more information.
If you own a business, you should be familiar with the portions of the ADA which affect your business. There is a free, excellent governmental publication (“ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business”) which can help you do just that. It is well-written and includes examples and illustrations that help make a complex subject understandable. This primer deals with accessibility in public places, tax credits, service animals and answering telephone relay calls.
Title 1 of the ADA prohibits discrimination in Employment.
The title I employment provisions apply to private employers, State and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions. Employers with 15 or more employees are covered.
The ADA prohibits discrimination in all employment practices, including job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. It applies to recruitment, advertising, tenure, layoff, leave, fringe benefits, and all other employment-related activities.
Employment discrimination is prohibited against “qualified individuals with disabilities.” This includes applicants for employment and employees. An individual is considered to have a “disability” if s/he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. Persons discriminated against because they have a known association or relationship with an individual with a disability also are protected. (from ADA.gov)
Other links about the ADA:
Main ADA website
U.S. Department of Labor
Keep this information handy so that you can find quick answers about the ADA when needed!