What is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was established by Congress in 1990. The aim of the law is to end discrimination in the workplace and to offer people with disabilities such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) equal job opportunities.
Which employers are covered by the ADA?
The ADA applies to companies with 15 or more employees. This contains:
- private employers
- state and local governments
- Employment agencies
- Work organizations
- and labor management committees
Is ADHD Included in ADA?
Yes. The ADA provides for “mental” conditions or mental illnesses, but as with physical impairment, a diagnosis of mental illness or mental impairment is not sufficient to qualify an employee for legal protection.
The following conditions must be met for ADHD to be eligible for coverage:
- It must have a significant impact or restriction on an important life activity or function
- The person must be considered disabled
- The person must have been proven to be disabled.
- The applicant must also be able to perform the essential duties with or without accommodation in order to qualify as a person with a disability within the meaning of the law.
Can an employer or potential employer ask if I have ADHD?
No. Your employer or potential employer cannot ask questions about your medical or psychiatric history. An exception, however, is when an applicant wants reasonable accommodation for the hiring process. If the need for this housing is not obvious, an employer can ask an applicant for adequate documentation about their disability.
[Read: When You Need to Make Changes at Work]
Do I need to tell my employer that I have ADHD in order to be covered by the ADA?
Yes. Several courts have already ruled that in these situations, lack of knowledge of the condition or potential impact of the disability on the worker can serve as a legitimate defense for the employer.
What are reasonable accommodation?
An employer is obliged to provide adequate accommodation to a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless the employer can prove that the accommodation represents undue hardship, e.g. B. is too expensive or causes other problems in the workplace.
Reasonable precautions for an employee with ADHD can include:
- Restructuring of jobs
- Part-time or changed work schedules
- Reassignment to a vacant position
- Customize or change exams, training materials, or guidelines
Can an employer lower my salary or pay me less than other workers doing the same job because I need adequate accommodation?
No. An employer cannot make up for the cost of providing decent housing by lowering your salary or paying less than other workers in similar positions.
[Read: ADHD at Work – Should I Tell My Boss or Not?]
I’m taking medication for ADHD. Do I still qualify for workplace accommodation?
The US Supreme Court ruled in Sutton v United Airlines, Inc. and again in Murphy v United Parcel Service, Inc. that if a person has little or no difficulty in performing a major life activity, he is using an extenuating measure Then that person will not meet the ADA’s first definition of “disability”. In other words, if you are visually impaired but can correct the impairment by wearing glasses, you are not considered to be disabled. When ADHD is successfully treated with medication, it can also be difficult to label ADHD as an impairment.
What do I do if I think I am being discriminated against?
If you believe that you have experienced employment discrimination because of your ADHD, you should contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. You may have up to 300 days to file a charge if there is a state or local law that facilitates discrimination based on disability. In order to protect your rights, it is best to contact the EEOC immediately if you suspect discrimination.
You can file a disability discrimination charge by contacting an EEOC field office in cities across the United States. To contact the EEOC, look under “US Government” in your telephone directory. You can also call (800) 669-4000 for more information.
What Have Employers Said About ADHD and ADA?
An article published by the New York Law Journal was not very encouraging. It said, “As more employees learn that their work-related problems may be due to ADHD in adults, some are likely to seek protection from discrimination under the law. Employers facing these disability discrimination claims should take a two-pronged defense. “
“First, the employer should force the employee to bear the burden of proof that he actually has ADHD and that ADHD interferes with an important life activity of the employee. If the employee successfully finds that he is disabled within the meaning of the law, the employer should argue that the employee cannot perform the essential functions of his job. This argument is supported if the employer can refer to a written job description showing that general skills such as following instructions, completing tasks on time, and getting on with other functions are essential functions of the employee’s position. “
“The symptoms of ADHD in adults are such that they are likely to prevent the employee from performing these essential functions. As such, employees who are terminated for behavior related to adult ADHD are unlikely to be eligible for protection under the law. “
Note that this is a legal conception and not a law. However, it would be beneficial for both you and your employer to clarify this out of court.
[Free Resource: Questions That Reveal the Perfect Job]
Updated October 9, 2019
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