Passed in 1990 and amended in 2008, the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, services offered by public entities (including public transportation), public accommodations (including commercial facilities), and telecommunications. In addition to its nondiscrimination requirements, the ADA affirmatively requires employers and businesses to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a disability. Title I applies to employers; Title III applies to places of public accommodation and commercial facilities (including many health care entities such as medical offices, hospitals, and nursing homes). The ADA also importantly protects people against discrimination because they are regarded as disabled or have a record of a disability.
Title I prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability. It also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who can perform the essential functions of a job with the aid of such an accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is one that does not place an undue burden on the employer; while cost is not the only factor in determining whether an accommodation does not unduly burden an employer, it plays a major role.
Nonetheless, the cost of failing to provide a reasonable accommodation will almost certainly outweigh the cost of making the accommodation. The ADA allows recovery for lost wages (both back pay and front pay), compensatory and punitive damages, prejudgment interest, and reasonable attorneys' fees and litigation costs.
Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of places of public accommodations and requires newly constructed or altered places of public accommodation—as well as commercial facilities (privately owned, nonresidential facilities)—to comply with the ADA standards. Title III endeavors to make facilities and websites accessible to those with disabilities.
If you believe that your employer has violated the law, call Holman & Stefanowicz, LLC at 312-258-9700 for a free evaluation of your potential claim. We can help determine whether you have a claim.