Title I of the ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Under this Title, an employer may not discriminate in recruiting, hiring, pay, training, layoffs, leaves, firing, promotions, social activities and other aspects of working for an employer. An employer must provide equal opportunities to everyone so that they can equally benefit from all employment related activities.
Employers are also restricted from asking about a candidate’s disability before a job offer is extended. However, an employer can ask if a person can perform the essential functions of a job with or without reasonable accommodation
Unless it produces an undue hardship for the employer, they must make a reasonable accommodation to provide for any mental or physical limitations of individuals with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation may include modifying work equipment, creating a modified or part-time work schedule, adjusting training materials or policies, making the workplace easily accessible and usable by disabled employees, and other related actions. The ADA also makes it illegal for an employer to retaliate against a disabled person who exercises their rights under the ADA.
Despite the ADA, discrimination against the disabled does happen in the workplace. However, the Federal government is aggressive when it comes to investigating complaints. If you are disabled and you believe you have been discriminated against with a current or prospective employer, you can contact any local field office of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission. With a few exceptions, you must file a claim within 180 days of the alleged infraction. Some states also have local laws prohibiting discrimination against the disabled, and in those circumstances, you have up to 300 days to file a claim. For more information, you can also contact the EEOC by calling (800) 669-4000 (voice) or (800) 669-6820.