Employment Disabilities

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Americans With Disabilities Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was enacted by the United States Congress "to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities". The ADA was later amended in 2008 to provide broader protection for individuals with disability than previously provided under the predecessor ADA and the limiting decisions of the United States Supreme Court in Sutton v. United Airlines, Inc., 527 U.S. 471 (1999) and its successor opinions. The amendments were enacted through the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (henceforth ADA will include the ADA Amendments Act of 2008). Congress believed that the opinion expressed by the Supreme Court was more restrictive than that originally intended by Congress when the original body of the ADA was drafted in 1990 and was not consistent with the "comprehensive national mandate" to eliminate discrimination and imposed too demanding of standard.

What activities are prohibited by the ADA?

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability in relation to hiring, termination, compensation, promotion, discipline and other employment related activities.

What qualifies as a disability under the ADA?

A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. In addition, having a record of such an impairment, or being regarded by an employer as having a disability, also qualifies as a disability.

Does the ADA apply to my employer?

If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with an attorney, contact Putnam, Fern & Thompson Law Office at  (563) 382-2984 or complete our inquiry form on the Contact Us page.