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Employer Defenses to Disability Discrimination

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Employer Defenses to Disability Discrimination

A claim of disability discrimination by an employee or former employee is a serious accusation.  As an employer, you are prohibited by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) from discriminating against any employee who is disabled. There are a number of ways that you can defend such a claim, including that:

  • You had a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for your actions
  • No reasonable accommodation for the person's disability exists, meaning that making an accommodation would cause you undue hardship
  • The employee posed a direct threat that justified any action you took regarding their employment status

How Do I Prove My Employee Posed a Direct Threat?

To prove that an employee posed a direct threat so as to justify any action you have taken regarding their employment, you will need to show the following:

  • That there is a high probability that the disabled person's condition will lead to substantial harm to himself, to property, or to others
  • That it is likely that the harm will actually occur
  • Medical or other objective evidence that supports your claim that the disabled person poses a threat
  • That no reasonable accommodation can be made to alleviate the risk

Should I Contact an Attorney?

Any time you are being accused of discriminating against an employee, you should contact an attorney with experience in disability discrimination. He or she will be able to defend any action brought against you and advise you of the defenses available to you. 

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 04-04-2016 01:14 PM PDT

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