Protections from Disability Discrimination Under the Americans with Disabilities Act


In 1990, Congress passed a landmark civil rights legislation when it passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. Simply put, the ADA makes discrimination based on disability illegal. The ADA provides federal protection for disabled people in employment, public services, and public accommodations.

To be considered disabled, the ADA states that a person must have a physical or mental impairment that creates limits on a major life activity such as seeing, breathing, walking, talking, or performing manual labor.

The ADA has four main components that layout specific guidelines.

ADA Title I – Employment

Title I of the ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees. It states that an employer may not discriminate in recruiting, hiring, pay, training, layoffs, leaves, firing, promotions, social activities, and other aspects of working for an employer. Unless it produces an undue hardship for the employer, they must make a reasonable accommodation to provide for any mental or physical limitations of individuals with disabilities. The ADA also makes it illegal for an employer to retaliate against a disabled person who exercises their rights under the ADA.

ADA Title II – State and Local Government Activities/Public Transportation

Title II has two primary sections. The first applies to all activities of state and local governments and guarantees that they must provide equal opportunities for disabled people to make use of all services, activities, and programs. This includes employment, health care, recreation, courts, social services, voting, and transportation. The second part covers public transportation and states that officials must make good faith efforts to purchase or lease equipment that provides access to disabled individuals on public transportation systems.

ADA Title III – Public Accommodations

Title III refers to public accommodations and states that businesses and nonprofits must offer physical access to goods and services that prohibit disabled people from being excluded, segregated, or being subjected to unequal treatment in any way, shape, or form. This includes owners and operators of just about every public entity including restaurants, retail stores, gas stations, hotels, doctor’s offices, movie theatres, homeless shelters, office buildings, libraries, and recreational facilities among many others.

ADA Title IV – Telecommunications

Title IV covers television and telephone access for individuals with speech and hearing disabilities. It ensures that people with disabilities have access to services such as cell phones, call-waiting services, and other related functions.

Violation of any of these Titles may pave the way for a disabled person to retain an experienced employment lawyer to file a claim for damages. With an attorney in Boston by your side, you can pursue the compensation that you deserve. Call Davis & Davis, P.C. at (978) 228-2262 or contact us online.

Davis & Davis, P.C. serves clients in Boston and other surrounding Massachusetts communities.