There are powerful and important legal protections for workers with PI that employers must comply with under certain circumstances.
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA)
Employers with more than 15 employees cannot discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in job-related aspects such as application, hiring, promotion, firing, compensation, job training, etc.
- A disability under the ADA includes a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such impairment.
- Reasonable accommodations are adjustments to job, practice, policy, or work environment that allow individuals with disabilities to participate equally in employment opportunities without creating an undue burden for the employer.
- Reasonable accommodations may include modifying work schedule, acquiring or modifying equipment, time off for medical appointments, telecommuting arrangements.
For more information about ADA, visit www.ada.gov. State legislation related to ADA is tracked by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees in companies with more than 50 employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.
- Qualifying reasons include the birth of a child, adoption or foster care placement, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, or a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform job's essential functions.
- Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period under FMLA, which can be taken intermittently.
Many states have laws that expand on federal FMLA, and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) tracks these state-level laws.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws that prohibit job discrimination against individuals based on:
- Sex (including pregnancy)
- National origin
- Age (40 or older)
- Genetic information
Discriminating against individuals who complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit is also illegal.