Discrimination: Who is disabled under North Carolina state law? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Discrimination: Who is disabled under North Carolina state law?

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As time has passed, the North Carolina Persons with Disabilities Protection Act (NCPDPA) has evolved to cover more disabled North Carolinians.

For example, the first version of the law excluded “working” as a major life activity, thus preventing coverage for those who might not be able to work without substantial accommodations. In 1999, the Legislature added “working” as a major life activity.

Subsequent court decisions have expanded the definition of “disabled” under North Carolina law. Follow this timeline of decisions to understand how the definition has evolved.

Denying disability

1979: The North Carolina Supreme Court first analyzed discrimination against handicapped persons. An employer refused to hire the plaintiff because he had a simple case of glaucoma.

The court held that, since the plaintiff had 20/20 vision in both eyes with glasses, he was not a handicapped person. Potential disability wasn’t enough.

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