Login

Disability/Handicap - ADA Coverage of Mental or Physical Handicap that Limits Major Life Activities

Disability/Handicap DIscrimination Under the ADA 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers protection against employment discrimination to employees having a physical or mental impairment that  substantially limits a major life activity.  This is explained in more detail below.

More about the ADA

Physical or Mental Impairment

A physical or mental impairment is any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting certain body systems. For example, the following impairments would be covered under the ADA: a) epilepsy; b) paralysis; c) a substantial hearing or visual impairment; d) mental retardation; e) a learning disability; f) tuberculosis; and g) AIDS.

On the other hand, minor, non-chronic conditions of short duration would not be covered. For example, the following impairments would not be covered under the ADA: a) a sprain; b) an infection; c) broken limb and d) pregnancy. The ADA also states that the term disability shall not include: a) transvestism; b) transsexualism; c) pedophilia; d) exhibitionism; e) voyeurism; f) gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments; g) other sexual behavior disorders; h) compulsive gambling; i) kleptomania; j) pyromania; k) current illegal drug use; and l) psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.

Substantially Limits A Major Life Activity

The physical or mental impairment must also substantially limit one or more major life activities. Major life activities are activities that an average person can perform with little or no difficulty. For example, the ADA considers the following behaviors major life activities: a) walking; b) caring for oneself; c) hearing; d) seeing; e) learning; f) speaking; g) breathing; h) performing manual tasks, i) working; j) sitting; k) standing; l) lifting; and m) reading.

Disclaimer: The materials in Asonye & Associates web site have been prepared to permit visitors to our web site to learn more about the services we offer. These materials do not, and are not intended to, constitute legal advice. Neither transmission nor receipt of such materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the sender and receiver. Internet subscribers and online readers are advised not to take or refrain from taking any action based upon materials in this web site without consulting legal counsel. We do not undertake to update any materials in our Web Site to reflect subsequent legal or other developments.