EEOC Issues Revised Guidance on Employment Rights of Certain Disabled People

According to a recent press release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there are now publications available that specifically address the employment rights of people with some specific disabilities, including diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities. While EEOC publications in the past have primarily addressed employment rights of the disabled in very general terms, these revised publications specifically designate people with these medical conditions as falling under the purview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). More particularly, the ADA Amendments Act changes the definition of disability so as to make it easier to conclude that these medical conditions qualify as disabilities for the purposes of the ADA.

As a spokesperson for the EEOC notes, and as your Georgia employment lawyer can readily corroborate, over 34 million Americans have been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, or epilepsy. Statistics indicate that over 12 million Americans alone have been diagnosed with cancer, and over two million Americans suffer from some type of intellectual disability. As a result, many Americans who have these types of medical conditions are seeking to enter, re-enter, or are already in the workplace. This situation inevitably raises the various legal rights of those workers.

For example, the EEOC’s new guidance documents give information about the following with respect to diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, and intellectual disabilities:

As your Georgia employment lawyer can tell you, the ADA governs all private employers who have 15 or more employees, as well as state and local governments. The EEOC is the federal agency charged with ensuring that employers and state and local governments comply with the ADA. The EEOC will take enforcement action when employers who are subject to the ADA fail to follow it as required. By providing such detailed guidance for employers dealing with prospective and current employees who may suffer from cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, and intellectual disabilities, employers will have a better chance of remaining in compliance with the law, and employees will be more likely to receive the legal protections to which they are entitled.

Although treatment and survival rates have improved dramatically in recent years for these diseases, and many people are able to fully function in the workplace, at least with some reasonable accommodations, these people may still face discrimination by other employees or by their own employers. If you or a loved one suffers from one of these medical conditions, or any type of disability, and are experiencing workplace harassment based on your disability, or any other potential ADA violation, you may be entitled to relief. Contact our office today, and let us evaluate whether you have a valid legal claim against your employer.

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