Q: My daughter is disabled and has difficulty getting a job. Can an employer refuse to hire for no reason?
Kathy, Florence, AL
ON: Some, but not all, employers are subject to the Disabled Americans Act of 1990. The 1973 Rehabilitation Act extends only to the federal government and only protects workers in the federal sector. The American With Disabilities Act 1990 (ADA) applies to all workers – both in the private and public sectors – provided their employer has 15 or more full-time employees for the calendar year. The Rehabilitation Act uses the term “disability”, while the ADA uses the term “disability”.
For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides an example of a store cashier who has lupus, which makes her more prone to fatigue. The employer could make reasonable provision for this worker by giving her a stool so that she can sit and not stand while she is doing her cashier duties. An employer who follows the ADA would make this accommodation.
An employer does not violate the ADA if the employer refuses to hire an employee who poses a direct danger to others or himself in the workplace. In the Chevron USA v Echazabal case (2002), the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the employer did not violate the ADA when it refused to fire a former worker whose disability (hepatitis and liver problems) was caused by exposure to toxins would aggravate (aggravate) in the workplace.
The Court found that the defense against direct threats set out in federal law should extend to workers who pose a danger to themselves. The Court has ruled that defense against direct threats must be based on a reasoned medical judgment and not serve as a cover for discriminating against disabled workers who pose no real threat at all.
Invite your daughter to contact the Easter Seals Foundation or Alabama Adult Vocational Rehabilitation.
Buckle up, drive safely and as always, your recommendations will be appreciated! 256-764-0112
Ask the Attorney is sponsored by local attorneys McCutcheon & Hamner, PC, as a service to residents of NW Alabama.
Please send the questions to:
“Ask the lawyer”
P.O. Box 38,
Florence, Alabama 35631
or visit our website at: www.mhatty.com
Facebook: McCutcheon and Hamner, PC
We will not print your full name in the item. We cannot return written or preprinted items that have been submitted.
No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be provided will be superior to the quality of legal services provided by other lawyers.