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The ADA celebrates its 25th anniversary


Employees in New York and elsewhere in the U.S. are afforded rights. These rights prevent an employee from being mistreated or discriminated against for personal characteristics or disabilities he or she might have.

Recently, the United States celebrated the 25th birthday of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Actor ADA, which was signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. The act, according to its long title, was created to "establish a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability."

Although the ADA does not specifically list all the names of the impairments included, it includes not only physical conditions, but mental conditions and intellectual disabilities as well. According to the ADA, a disability is defined as any impairment that substantially limits one's ability to perform specific activities.

It is important to keep in mind that for anyone who feels they have been discriminated on the basis of their disability, that they must file a complaint within 180 days of the time of the incident with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Americans with Disabilities Act also extends beyond employment protections by also requiring state and local government buildings, public transportation vehicles, and public nonprofit and businesses that are deemed public accommodations meet specific standards to provide access for the disabled. In addition, the ADA requires that telecommunications carriers meet standards to allow for the hearing and speech impaired to communicate via a third party communications assistant.

The importance of providing protections and services for the disabled cannot be understated; and it is crucial to report any instance of employment discrimination immediately. Failing to do so not only hinders the progress of those affected, but may not prevent future similar incidents from occurring. Those discriminated against for a permanent or temporary disability should understand what steps they could take so he or she could take timely action on their situation.

Source: ada.gov, "Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Accessed on July 28, 2015

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