The ADA prohibits covered employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities in the full range of employment-related activities, from recruitment to advancement, to pay and benefits. An employer may choose to hire, fire or promote the most qualified applicant or employee that he/she chooses. The ADA prohibits an employer from making the decision on whom to hire, fire or promote on the basis of disability.
Covered employers are also required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants/employees with disabilities when needed to provide equal opportunity to the application process, in order to allow an employee to perform the job or in order to provide equal opportunity to any benefits associated with the job. A reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to the way things are typically done in the workplace.
The ADA also prohibits harassment against applicants/employees with disabilities and prohibits employers from retaliating against an applicant/employee that has exercised their rights under the ADA. In addition, the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals that associate with individuals with disabilities, such as a family member, co-worker or friend.
The following resources provide basic information on employment with respect to individuals with disabilities in the workplace.
EEOC Answers to common questions about employment and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Department of Labor article on federal laws covering non-discrimination on the basis of disability and which government agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws.
An EEOC fact sheet discussing which employers and what employment practices are covered and employer’s obligations to provide reasonable accommodation.
This handbook developed by the EEOC is intended for businesses with 15 to 100 employees, and smaller businesses expecting to expand to have at least 15 employees in the near future. It provides an easy-to-read, overview of the basic employment provisions of the ADA as they relate to employees and job applicants.