American with Disabilities Act (ADA)

American with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, with 15 or more employees, from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

An individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;  has a record of such impairment;  or is regarded as having such impairment.

An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it would not impose an "undue hardship" on the operation of the employer's business.  Reasonable accommodations are adjustments or modifications provided by an employer to enable people with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities.  Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such an employer's size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.

An employer generally does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation unless an individual with a disability has asked for one.  Once a reasonable accommodation is requested, the employer and the individual should discuss the individual's needs and identify the appropriate reasonable accommodation.  Where more than one accommodation would work, the employer may choose the one that is less costly or that is easier to provide.

For more information on how to ho about requesting a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, please contact the Office of Human Resources.