Michigan disabilities act and the ADA: important differences

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Michigan employers must comply with Michigan’s Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act (PWDCRA) and the federal ADA. Both laws prohibit employers from discharging or otherwise discriminating against an individual because of a disability that is unrelated to the individual’s ability to perform the duties of a particular job.

Although the laws are similar, there are differences employers need to understand.

The PWDCRA applies to all Michigan employers with at least one employee and includes the agent of such a person. This definition is broader than the ADA’s definition of a covered entity, which applies to organizations with 15 or more employees.

Disability definitions

The two laws carry slightly different definitions of disability.

Under the PWDCRA, an employee is disabled if he or she:

A. Has a “determinable physical or mental characteristic … which may result from disease, injury, congenital condition of birth, o...(register to read more)

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