Qualified individuals with disabilities are entitled to an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in the workplace (as well as in government and other contexts) on the basis of disability. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees and covers recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment. The ADA also restricts the questions that can be asked about an applicant’s disability before a job offer is made, and it requires that employers make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would result in undue hardship.
To be protected by the ADA, one must qualify as having a “disability” (or as having a close relationship with a disabled person) as that term is defined in the Act. Under the ADA, a disabled person is: (1) one having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or (3) a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. See 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2). The ADA does not specifically list or identify all possible impairments that would be considered disabilities.