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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits job discrimination because of a disability and requires affirmative action to employ qualified individuals with disabilities who, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of their jobs. Individuals requiring accommodations should contact the Director of Human Resources to obtain an Employee ADA Self-Disclosure/Accommodations Request and Certification of Physician forms.
ADA Title I
Title I of the ADA essentially states that an employer cannot discriminate against qualified applicants and employees on the basis of their disabilities. Employers having 15 or more employees (effective 7/26/94) are covered.
Section 504 employment requirements, in most respects, are the same as those of Title I, because the ADA was based on the Section 504 regulatory requirements.
The ADA prohibits employment discrimination against “qualified individuals with disabilities.” A qualified individual with a disability is an individual with a disability, who meets the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of a position held or desired, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job.
To understand who is and who is not protected by the ADA, it is first necessary to understand the Act’s definition of an “individual with a disability” and then determine if the individual meets the Act’s definition of a “qualified individual with a disability.”
To be a disability covered by the ADA, an impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities. These are activities that an average person can perform with little or no difficulty.
Examples of major life activities are:
The regulations provide three factors to consider in determining whether a person’s impairment substantially limits a major life activity:
These factors must be considered because, generally, it is not the name of an impairment or a condition that determines whether a person is protected by the ADA, but rather the effect of an impairment or condition on the life of a particular person.
Reasonable accommodation is a critical component of the ADA’s assurance of nondiscrimination. Reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are usually done that results in equal employment opportunity for an individual with a disability.
An employer must make a reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless it can show that the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of its business. An employer is not required to lower quality or quantity standards to make an accommodation. Nor is an employer obligated to provide personal use items, such as glasses or hearing aids, as accommodations.
An employer is not required to provide an accommodation if it will impose an undue hardship on the operation of its business. Undue hardship is defined by the ADA as an action that is “excessively costly, extensive, substantial, or disruptive, or that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.”
In determining undue hardship, factors to be considered include the nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size, the financial resources, the nature and structure of the employer’s operation, as well as the impact of the accommodation on the specific facility providing the accommodation.
Nashville State Community College is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. Full Non-Discrimination Policy