The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) makes it illegal to discriminate against a person on the basis of a mental, physical, or perceived disability. Disability discrimination can include any harassment, adverse action, or employment decision making (hiring, advancement, training, etc.) on the basis of a disability.
Employees who face disability discrimination in the workforce have the right to pursue a disability discrimination lawsuit to hold employers accountable for related damages. A key aspect of a disability discrimination claim is proving disability. Here, the lawyers from Chanfrau & Chanfrau explain how they prove disability for their Daytona Beach, FL, and Palm Coast, FL, clients so that discriminatory employers can be held liable.
Key Aspects of a Disability Discrimination Claim
When filing a claim of disability discrimination, the plaintiff, or employee, must be able to prove certain facts. The following are key aspects that must be demonstrated in any disability discrimination claim:
- The plaintiff suffers from a disability that is protected under the ADA
- The plaintiff is qualified to perform their job position, either with or without reasonable accommodations
- The plaintiff experienced an adverse employment action because of their disability
Generally, employees do not have to divulge medical information (including evidence of disability) to an employer. However, if a worker is requesting reasonable accommodations to perform their job (a right provided under the ADA) or if they are filing a claim of disability discrimination, they must be able to prove the disability. This means they have to be willing to discuss the details of their disability, including how it impacts their ability to perform basic daily functions.
How Do You Prove Disability Under the ADA?
To qualify for protections and rights provided by the ADA, individuals must be able to prove that they meet at least one of the following conditions:
- They have a medical condition (physical or mental) that substantially limits a major life activity
- They have a record or history of a medical condition that causes impairment
- They are perceived as having a physical or mental disability or impairment
Evidence to Support a Disability Claim
As with other aspects of a disability discrimination claim, the best way for the plaintiff to prove disability is through the presentation of evidence.
The most common source of evidence to prove disability is medical records. Medical records should be as detailed as possible. A doctor not only needs to provide documentation that the plaintiff suffers from impairment or a disability, but should also provide specific details regarding how the disability impacts their day-to-day life, or their ability to perform basic activities.
Witness testimony is another common source of evidence to prove disability. Witnesses can testify how the plaintiff’s disability impacts life activities, or how they are perceived to suffer from an impairment that compromises certain aspects of their life. Potential witnesses include family members, friends, and coworkers.
Contact Our Practice
Individuals who have faced disability discrimination at work should consider filing a claim to hold employers liable for related damages. If you would like to learn about the compensation you may be able to collect in a disability discrimination lawsuit, contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau online or call our Daytona Beach firm at (386) 258-7313 and request a consultation with our lawyers.