Frequently Asked Questions: Disability and Employment

Introduction, key terms, and examples

Who is protected from employment discrimination?

Who is a “qualified individual”?

As long as I meet the ADA definition of disability, am I covered by Title I?

Which employers are covered by title I of the ADA?

What does a "record of" a disability mean?

Can you give me an example of someone who has a "record of" a disability without having a current disability?

Can you give me an example of someone who is "regarded as" having a disability?

What do you mean by "association with a person with a disability"?

What are the "essential functions" of a job?

What is discrimination based on "relationship or association" under the ADA?

What is considered an "undue hardship" for a reasonable accommodation?

What is a "reasonable accommodation"?

Addition and recovery

Are people with alcohol use disorder protected by the ADA?

Is testing for the illegal use of drugs permissible under the ADA?

Are applicants or employees who are currently illegally using drugs protected by the ADA?


How are the employment provisions enforced?

What resources does the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have available to help employers and people with disabilities understand and comply with the employment requirements of the ADA?

Employer resources

What financial assistance is available to employers to help them make reasonable accommodations and comply with the ADA?

What are an employer's recordkeeping requirements under the employment provisions of the ADA?

Does the ADA require that an employer post a notice explaining its requirements?


What practices and activities are covered by the employment nondiscrimination requirements?

How do workers' compensation programs and the ADA overlap?

Does title II cover a public entity's employment policies and practices?

Does the ADA override federal and state health and safety laws?

Can an employer maintain existing production/performance standards for an employee with a disability?

Can an employer consider health and safety when deciding whether to hire an applicant or retain an employee with a disability?


Does the ADA require that an applicant or employee with a disability be qualified for the position?

Does the ADA require employers to develop written job descriptions?

When can an employer as an applicant to “self-identify” as having a disability?

What limitations does the ADA impose on medical examinations and inquiries about disability?

Reasonable accommodations

What is a "reasonable accommodation"?

When is an employer required to make a reasonable accommodation?

What is the process to request a reasonable accommodation in employment?

Can an employer be required to reallocate an essential function of a job to another employee as a reasonable accommodation?

Can an employer be required to modify, adjust, or make other reasonable accommodations in the way a test is given to an applicant or employee with a disability?

What are some of the accommodations applicants and employees may need?

Must an employer modify existing facilities to make them accessible?


Can an employer establish specific attendance and leave policies?

What are my employer's obligations after I return from medical leave? (What kind of documentation can the employer ask for when I return from medical leave?)