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Employment Discrimination Lawsuit Alleges Disability Discrimination

A class action employment discrimination lawsuit has been filed against a large health care company alleging systemic discrimination against job applicants and employees. The discrimination suit alleges that adverse employment actions were taken against several individuals as the result of perceived or actual disabilities.

Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), it is illegal to discriminate against qualified individuals with a disability in regards to their employment The ADA also prohibits disability harassment and retaliation against you for complaining about disability discrimination or for participating in someone else’s disability discrimination case.

Not all injuries, illnesses or even medically defined disabilities are covered by the ADA. The ADA projects a specific class of individuals—qualified individuals with a disability. A qualified individual with a disability is an individual with any medical, physiological, or psychiatric condition that substantially limits a major life activity. Temporary conditions or conditions that, although serious, don’t substantially limit any of your major life activities are not covered.

However, disabilities that are not actual but “perceived” may be covered. For example,

in some cases (such as an employee with HIV or AIDS), an employee may have a condition that does not affect him or her (or other employees) in any way, but due to unfounded fears or stereotypes held by the employer, the employer believes that the employee is disabled. If such an employer were to take an adverse action against such an employee based on this perception that could violate the ADA.

According to the complaint in this instance, a class of applicants and employees were negatively affected by the company’s practice of denying hire, accommodating people with disabilities, and ultimately firing individuals who were regarded as disabled, had a record of a disability or had an actual disability. Further, in some situations the company discharged or revoked the job offers of class members upon learning of or receiving records of prior medical conditions or current medical restrictions.

Such practices are prohibited. For more information or if you or someone you know may have been the victim of discrimination, please contact the experienced Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.

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