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Americans with Disabilities Act in the Workplace

July 2015

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that came into effect in 1990. This Sunday, July 26, 2015, marks the 25th anniversary of the ADA. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Discrimination against individuals with disabilities is prohibited in all areas open to the public such as the workplace, schools, and transportation.

The ADA has five sections: (1) Employment; (2) State and Local Government; (3) Public Accommodations; (4) Telecommunications and (5) Miscellaneous Provisions.

Focusing on the Employment section, this section aims to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same access to employment opportunities that are available to individuals without disabilities. An employer must provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is a change that accommodates employees with disabilities without causing the employer undue hardship or hardship that impairs the way the employer conducts its business.

In Wisconsin, an individual can pursue a claim under the ADA if that individual believes he or she has been discriminated against based upon his or her disability. This claim will be filed through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). An individual can file an ADA claim with the EEOC if the employer has 15 or more employees. Another way for an individual to pursue a disability discrimination claim is under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act through the Department of Workforce Development. Each individual’s case will have different facts that will warrant which avenue to pursue.

Overall, the ADA has provided many individuals with disabilities the same rights and opportunities in the workplace as those who do not have disabilities. To ensure that individuals with disabilities continue to have the same treatment in the workplace, it is important for employers and employees to understand their rights under the ADA and the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.

To learn more about the ADA please visit . To learn more about the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act please visit .


Attorney Joe Faulds


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As always, seek the advice of a qualified legal professional regarding any legal issues you may have. You should not disregard professional advice or refrain from seeking professional advice because of anything contained in this article. The information contained herein is general and educational in nature. Because each case is different and each legal analysis is customized for individual clients, the information contained in this article should never be used to determine your legal rights.




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