From the Hotline: Coverage Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Question: How do I know if an employee’s self-disclosed medical condition needing accommodation is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Answer: The ADA does not outline specific ailments or disabilities which qualify under the ADA, but defines a disability as a“…physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities….” If the employer receives an accommodation request, we recommend beginning the interactive dialogue process to determine if reasonable accommodations can be made to support the employee and maintain productivity in the work environment.

The employer may ask the employee to provide documentation to establish the ADA disability and need for accommodation; keep in mind, however, that this documentation should be limited in scope. The Department of Labor also provides employers with a free resource via Ask Jan, which provides one-on-one consultation as well as a website containing a wealth of information to help employers understand their obligations when working through the reasonable accommodation process.

Sources:

Sample Form: www.askjan.org/media/medical.htm

Ask Jan (Free Accommodation Resources for Employers): www.askjan.org