Articles Posted in Definitions

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.

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So you want to sue your boss for harassment.  For years, you have put up with his antics, but now you’ve had enough.  He has humiliated you in front of your co-workers, berated you for trivial things, and insulted you.  Basically, he is a jerk.  But do you have grounds for a lawsuit?  Has your boss “harassed” you within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Federal anti-discrimination statutes do not prohibit all harassing behavior.  They do not guarantee that your boss will be “nice” to you.  They do, however, offer powerful protection against unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identification, national origin, age (if you are 40 or older), disability (mental or physical), sexual orientation (depending on the circumstances and jurisdiction), and retaliation against an employee who complains of discrimination, participates in an investigation, or voices opposition to discriminatory practices.
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A trademark is a type of intellectual property that generally consists of a distinctive sign or indicator used to identify the originating source of the products associated with the trademark, so that consumers can distinguish the trademark owner’s products from those originating from other sources.  Section 45 of the Trademark Act defines the term “trademark” as “any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof-

(1) used by a person, or

(2) which a person has a bona fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register…,

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