ADA / VT Law
ADA Law Regarding Employment of People with Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to companies with 15 or more employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for administering and enforcing the law.
ADA defines disability. A person must meet one of three criteria:
- Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working.
- Have a record of such an impairment, such as former cancer patients or someone misclassified as developmentally disabled.
- Be regarded as having such an impairment. For example, an employer who believes an employee with high blood pressure should not be promoted to a high-stress position is prohibited by ADA from discriminating against the employee based on that belief.
Exception: People currently illegally using drugs are not protected.
ADA is concerned with attitudes and perceptions that lead to discrimination.
ADA prohibits discrimination in a range of employment activities including the application and interview process, hiring and terminations, compensation, promotion, job training and any other terms or conditions of employment.
ADA requires employers to remove disability-related barriers which inhibit performance of essential job functions by qualified applicants and employees with disabilities as long as the accommodations do not pose unreasonable hardship for the company.
ADA defines reasonable accommodation as including:
- Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.
- Job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules; reassignment to a vacant position.
- Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices.
- Appropriate adjustment or modification of examinations, training materials, policies.
- Provision of qualified readers and interpreters.
- Other similar steps.
Call your local VABIR office (link to offices) or 800-639-2909 to request training, consultation or further information about this law.
Vermont Law Regarding Employment of People with Disabilities
The Fair Employment Practices section of Vermont Labor Law specifies that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate, except where a bona fide occupational qualification requires persons of a particular race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, place of birth, age or physical or mental condition. The addition to the Vermont statutes to protect persons with disabilities was effective before the ADA.
- Employers, employment agencies and labor organizations must comply with this law.
- Employers with at least one employee are covered under this law.
- Advertisements and notices of employment openings cannot indicate preference, limitation, specification or discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, place of birth, age, or physical or mental condition.
- Employers or potential employers may not segregate or limit opportunities related to the above factors.
- Employers, employment agencies and labor organizations cannot discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee who has lodged a complaint related to discrimination or who has cooperated with investigatory agencies relative to such a complaint.
- Specific protection is provided regarding applicants and employees who have a positive test result from an HIV-related blood test.Vermont law supersedes the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in that it requires employers to comply if they employ at least one person in their businessGuidance regarding employment practices which offer full opportunity to individuals with disabilities is available through your local VABIR Employment Representative or our Human Resources & Disability.Call your local VABIR representative (link to vabir representatives) or 800-639-2909 for information.