Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

This is a federal law which requires employers to "reasonably accommodate" disabled employees who can perform the "essential tasks" of a job. Please note that employees are also covered under the New York State Human Rights Disability Law. These laws require employers to provide "reasonable" accommodations to qualified disabled employees who can perform essential functions of the job.

Basic elements of the American with Disabilities act are as follows:

  • A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual, a record of such impairment or being regarded as having such impairment. While some temporary disabilities are covered, temporary impairments which are excluded from coverage include:
    • Current illegal drug use
    • Common illnesses or injuries
    • Pregnancy
    • Personality traits
  • Employer makes reasonable accommodation to permit employee to perform essential functions such as :
    • Making facilities accessible
    • Job restructuring
    • Job reassignment
    • Modifying work schedule
    • Acquiring adaptive equipment
  • Employer need not suffer "undue hardship" in providing accommodation, defined as:
    • Costly modifications/equipment
    • Disruption of workflow
  • Enforced by EEOC with remedies including injunctive relief and monetary damages

Employees are also covered by the New York State Disability Law. The Human Rights law defines a disabled individual as someone who has a physical, mental, or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic, or neurological conditions, which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted, clinical, or laboratory diagnostic techniques or record of such impairment or has a condition regarded by others as such an impairment, provided however, that such an impairment shall be limited to disabilities which upon the provision of reasonable accommodations, do not prevent the individual from performing in a reasonable manner the activities involved in the job or occupation sought or held.

The College has a coordinator for ADA compliance. Contact the Office of Disability Resources for assistance.