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What qualifies as disability discrimination in the workplace?

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

Employers are legally obligated to provide reasonable accommodation to all types of physical and mental impairments and illnesses. They can’t treat you differently because of your disability, record of a disability, perceived disability or the disability of a family member. So what qualifies as a disability?

Federal Standard for Disability Discrimination

“Disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act is defined as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” and applies to a person who has “a record of such an impairment” or a person who is “regarded as having such an impairment.” 42 U.S.C. §12102(1).


Employers Covered Under the ADA


The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications. The ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees and prohibits discrimination against a qualified individual with a disability.


Missouri's Standard for Disability Discrimination


Under the Missouri Human Rights Act, an employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who 1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity; 2) is regarded as having such an impairment or 3) has a record of having such an impairment and with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question, utilize the place of public accommodations or occupy the dwelling in question.


Employers Covered Under the MHRA


The Missouri Human Rights Act covers employers with six or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies, “temp services", and to labor organizations.


Contact Davis & Gras, LLC


If you or a loved one were discriminated against in the workplace due to a disability or perceived disability contact our experienced attorneys at 314-888-5858.

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