Handicaps Which Threaten Others and the Prohibition of Discrimination Under the Rehabilitation Act
19 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2012
Date Written: July 23, 1989
This paper explores whether persons whose handicaps constitute a potential threat to others are in any measure protected by federal law from discrimination in employment. After reviewing the evolution of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the principal federal safeguard for handicapped workers, the author examines whether alcoholics, drug addicts, and carriers of contagious diseases, like Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (hereinafter AIDS), are included within the statute's coverage. He reviews the Supreme Court's 1987 decision in School Board of Nassau County v. Arline which required federally funded employers to explore ways of safely accommodating workers handicapped with infectious diseases before discharging them. He closes by examining the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 19871 in which Congress effectively codified Arline.
Keywords: disabilities, handicaps, employment discrimination, Rehabilitation Act
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