How Does the Disability Act Protect Disabled Employees From Getting Fired?

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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was written to protect those with disabilities from being fired under certain circumstances. The law states that employers and employees are prohibited from discriminating against those with disabilities.


In order to fall under the ADA's protection, you must have a disability or have a relationship with someone with a disability that significantly affects your life in some way. The ADA defines a disabled person as "a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment."

Employer Responsibilities

Under Title I of the ADA, any employer or religious entity with 15 or more employees must provide equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities who are qualified for the job's specifications. Employers may not discriminate or ask questions regarding the disability during the hiring process, and must accommodate within reason for the limitations of the disability.

In Case of Discrimination

Any complaints of discrimination under Title I must be sent to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days. You may also file a complaint within 300 days if it is filed with a registered fair employment agency. You may only file a lawsuit with federal court after receiving a "right-to-sue" letter from the EEOC.

Read More: Unlawful Discrimination in the Workplace