The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in 1990, prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities: those who can perform the job’s essential functions with or without reasonable accommodation. (An accommodation is considered reasonable if it doesn’t place an undue hardship on the employer.)
The ADA is to the disabled what the Civil Rights Act was to disenfranchised and underemployed blacks in the 1960s. Each group fought for a federal law to even the playing field and help its members participate fully in the country's economic and social life.
In practice, however, the ADA proved much less potent a remedy for employment discrimination than Title VII, due in part to U.S. Supreme Court decisions that chipped away at the definition of “disabled” until it no longer included people with conditions such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, cancer and diabetes. As a result, for example, plaintiffs lost...(register to read more)