Workplace Disabilities

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW AND ECONOMICS, Kenneth G. Gau-Schmidt, Seth D. Harris and Orly Lobel, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008

NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08/09-5

39 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2008  

Seth D. Harris

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Michael Ashley Stein

Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School; University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights

Date Written: August 14, 2008

Abstract

The key United States law regulating employment discrimination against employees with disabilities is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title I of the ADA prohibits employment discrimination against any 'qualified individual with a disability'. This proscription includes traditional prohibitions of 'disparate treatment' and 'disparate impact'. Another form of employment discrimination prohibited by the ADA is the failure to provide a 'reasonable' workplace 'accommodation' to a qualified individual with a disability. The statute defines those individuals as workers who are capable of performing the essential job functions of the respective positions sought, either with or without provision of reasonable accommodations. Because reasonable accommodations are the focus of scholarly and political debate over the ADA, while also being the main innovation in disability employment discrimination worldwide, this chapter focuses on accommodations.

Although the ADA is a United States statute, it has had considerable influence on disability-related employment laws internationally. This is true for systemic national laws such as the United Kingdom's Disability Discrimination Act that are closely modeled on the ADA as well as for international acts that borrow specific concepts from the ADA (Stein and Stein 2007). Notably, the ADA's reasonable accommodation mandate has been adopted by the United Nations.

Keywords: disability, accommodation, workplace accommodation, job accommodation, Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, human rights, economic rights, workiers with disabilites, employees with disabilities, employment, employment rate, economics of disability, economics of accommodations, economic analysis, in

Suggested Citation

Harris, Seth D. and Stein, Michael Ashley, Workplace Disabilities (August 14, 2008). LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW AND ECONOMICS, Kenneth G. Gau-Schmidt, Seth D. Harris and Orly Lobel, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008; NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08/09-5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1226433

Seth D. Harris (Contact Author)

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States
(607) 255-2185 (Phone)

Michael Ashley Stein

Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School ( email )

1585 Massachussetts Avenue
Austin Hall 305
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1726 (Phone)

University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights ( email )

Private Bag X20
Hatfield 0028
Pretoria
South Africa

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