The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to all employers who have fifteen or more employees. Whether or not an injured worker is subject to protection under the ADA after the workers’ compensation injury depends upon the type of injury sustained and whether or not he has a permanent disability. The definition of disability for workers’ compensation and the ADA is construed differently by the laws and courts. Determining whether an individual who has a workers’ compensation injury is also disabled under the provisions of the ADA can sometimes be a difficult and confusing situation. Since the ADA is relatively new and the courts are still interpreting this problem, it is wise to seek legal advice if in doubt. Please contact the Bainbridge Firm for help gaining the benefits you deserve.
Generally speaking, an employer cannot refuse to hire an injured worker with a disability if the worker can perform the essential functions of the job either with or without reasonable accommodations. However, this does not mean the employer has to keep the job open indefinitely. Company guidelines established before the accident are generally very helpful.