The Law and Your Job

Major Federal Laws

What is a “disability”?

Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is one who:

  1. has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity; or
  2. has a record of having such a physical or mental impairment; or
  3. is regarded as having such an impairment.

The term is defined broadly to include any physiologically based impairment or any mental or psychological impairment, but it does not include mere physical characteristic or cultural, economic or environmental impairment. For example, an individual with dyslexia has a disability but an individual who is illiterate does not; an individual who is a dwarf has a disability but a person who is short does not.

The impairment must cause a substantial limitation to a major life activity. Temporary conditions, such as a broken leg or a cold, would not be considered substantial limitations.

>>What are the major federal anti-discrimination laws?
>>What aspects of the employment relationship are regulated by these laws?
>>What types of employers are regulated under Title VII?
>>How do I know if an action is discriminatory in violation of the law?
>>What should I do if I think I have been discriminated against in violation of the law?
>>How does someone file a charge under federal law?
>>What is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?
>>What types of employers are regulated under the ADEA?
>>Is there a federal agency responsible for enforcing the ADEA?
>>What is Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act?
>>What is a “disability”?
>>What types of employers are regulated under the ADA?
>>Is there a federal agency responsible for enforcing the ADA?


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