What are the Disability Discrimination Laws in Ohio?

May 20, 2019
By Peter Friedmann

The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990, and protects citizens with disabilities in places of employment, transportation, housing, government and other defined spaces. For the purpose of this article, however, we are going to focus on ADA employment discrimination in Ohio.

Under the ADA, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees or potential employees due to their disability.

There is not an exhaustive and comprehensive list of disabilities that the act protects, but common disabilities are as follows:

  • Deafness
  • Blindness
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Mobility impairment that requires the use of a wheelchair
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Partial or completely missing limbs

When it comes to ADA disability discrimination in Ohio, it is crucial to be able to identify what constitutes employment discrimination. If an applicant with a disability is simply not qualified for a position at a place of employment because they can’t perform the essential functions, it is not discrimination. However, if an applicant is qualified and turned down for the position due to their disability, that may qualify as discrimination in the workplace.

If an employee is fired, demoted or placed on leave due to a pre-existing or recently diagnosed disability, that may also be considered ADA employment discrimination in Ohio.

If you are unsure as to what the disability discrimination laws are in Ohio and believe that you have been discriminated against because of your protected disability, it is imperative that you contact an employment and labor law attorney to help you determine your next steps.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires employers to offer a reasonable accommodation in some circumstances.  An employer must engage in what is called the “interactive process” if an employee requests a reasonable accommodation for his or her disability.  Reasonable accommodations can be made to allow a person with a disability to perform the essential functions of the position.   A reasonable accommodation is any small adjustment or change in position and workplace that will allow an employee to perform their job duties despite having a disability.

Some examples of reasonable accommodations are:

  • Having a larger workspace to allow for a wheelchair user to maneuver;
  • Allowing occasional, small break for diabetics to test and treat blood sugars;
  • Installing computer screen magnifiers or telecommunication monitors for those who have sight and hearing disabilities;
  • Restructuring the workweek by allowing four 10-hour work days to accommodate medical treatment.

As long as the accommodation is reasonable and does not cause the employer an undue burden, the employer should grant the reasonable accommodation.

If you believe that your employer is discriminating against you due to your disability, contact the Friedmann Firm for a free case consultation to help you determine your next steps. Our friendly and experienced staff will guide you through the legal steps of filing a claim.