What Is Protected Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

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What Is Protected Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

If you’re disabled and you’ve been discriminated against in your workplace because of your disability, you may have an employment discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In this article, the employment attorneys in San Jose will give an overview of the ADA, which is a federal statute that protects disabled persons from workplace discrimination.

The ADA prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability. The federal statute covers discrimination in public services and places of public accommodation. It also has several miscellaneous protections, including an anti-retaliation provision.


Among other things, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADA Amendments Act” or “ADAAA”) affirms the broad scope of the ADA by:

  • Expanding the definition of “major life activities” to include: (1) a list that includes many activities that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recognized (such as walking) as well as activities that the EEOC has not specifically recognized (such as reading, bending, and communicating); and (2) a list that includes major bodily functions (which are “functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions”);
  • Specifying that the EEOC shall not consider mitigating measures besides “ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses” in determining whether someone is disabled;
  • Explaining that any medical impairment that is episodic or in remission is still a disability if it substantially limits a major life activity;
  • Providing that an employee who is subject to disability-related employment discrimination prohibited by the ADA (such as failure to hire) will meet the “regarded as” definition of disability, unless that impairment is minor or fleeting; and
  • Authorizing the EEOC, Department of Justice, and the Department of Transportation to broadly interpret the definition of disability.

Contact Our Employment Attorneys in San Jose

Filing a disability claim under the ADA can be complicated and confusing. The experienced and dedicated employment attorneys in San Jose at Costanzo Law Firm can help. Just call (408) 993-8493 today.

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