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Americans with Disabilities Act

On July 26, 1990, President George Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which bars discrimination against the disabled in both the public and private sector. The ADA prohibits discrimination against the disabled in the areas of employment, public services (including transportation), public accommodations and service operated by private entities, and telecommunications.

The nondiscrimination provisions of the ADA extend to virtually all employment-related decisions: recruitment, application procedures, hiring, promotions, compensation, job assignment, leaves of absence, fringe benefits, training opportunities, employer-sponsored social and recreational programs, layoffs, and termination.

The ADA requires that employment decisions must be based on individualized determinations and not on "generalizations, misperceptions, or irrational fears."

The term "disability" includes:

  • A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities
  • A record of such impairment
  • Being regarded as having an impairment

NOTE: The term disability includes drug addiction and alcoholism, but the Act specifies that an employee or applicant who is a current drug abuser is not protected by the law.

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Among the requirements of the ADA:

  • Employers cannot limit, segregate or classify applicants or employees in such a way that adversely impacts the opportunities or status of the applicant or employee because of disability.
  • Employers must make decisions based on the abilities of individual applicants or employees, and not on the basis of presumptions or generalizations about what a class of individuals can or cannot do.
  • Employers are required to make "reasonable accommodations" to the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified individual who is an applicant or employee, unless the covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business.
  • Employers cannot use standards, criteria or other methods of administration that have the effect of discriminating on the basis of disability.

Contact the Benefits Office at 918-357-6194 for additional information.

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Contact Information

Union Public Schools
8506 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
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Phone: 918-357-4321

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