The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protect qualified employees from discrimination on the basis of physical or medical condition. These laws prohibit unfair treatment during the hiring, retention, and promotion process due to perceived or actual impairment of employees.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA provides protection for employees with disability. It prohibits employers from denying employment opportunities to qualified applicants based on a perceived or actual impairment. It requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities.
ADA defines disability as a physical or mental condition that hinders one or more basic life functions such as seeing, hearing, speaking, moving, and walking. ADA mandates employers to provide reasonable accommodation if the applicant with disability meets the job qualifications. The accommodation is intended to assist the applicant in overcoming impairment and fulfilling job responsibilities.
Under the law, employers are required to provide accommodation to disabled employees provided it would not cause undue inconvenience to business.
Examples of accommodation are:
1. Adjusting the width and height of working table
2. Installing additional lights
3. Providing ramps and pathway for wheelchairs
4. Hearing aid
5. Adjusting work schedule
The employee must have a lingering impairment in order to qualify for ADA protection.
ADA limits employers on the questions that may be asked on an applicant during the interview process. Employers are prohibited from inquiring on related disability or medical condition, except for justifiable reasons.
Disability-related issues that should be avoided during the interview are:
1. Current impairment
2. Genetic history
3. Hospitalization history
4. Medical records
Employers are also prohibited from requiring an applicant to undergo medical exam, if it is not required to all other applicants or previous employees. They are also prohibited from conducting exhaustive search on the applicant's medical records.
ADA provides further protection to employees against any unfair treatment or prejudice on the basis of one's medical condition.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
FMLA provides employees with at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave to attend to one's own medical condition or need to undergo medical treatment. An employee must have rendered at least 1,250 hours in order to qualify for the program.
An employer is required to reinstate the employee after the completion of FMLA leave.
If you have suffered medical discrimination, you may consult with an Employment Law Attorney in Los Angeles to help you file a lawsuit.