The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

There are two primary statutes that govern disability discrimination in Minnesota for private employers:  (1) the Americans with Disabilities Act; and (2) the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals in a variety of areas, including employment, public services, housing, and public accommodations.  With respect to employment, the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified applicants or employees with disabilities.  The ADA also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified applicant or employee with a disability—unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship.  See 42 U.S.C. § 12112.  The ADA’s employment provisions apply to any employer who is engaged in an industry affecting commerce and has 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.  See 42 U.S.C. § 12111(5)(A).

The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals in many of the same areas as the ADA.  The MHRA prohibits any employer with one or more employees from discriminating against qualified employees or applicants on the basis of disability.  See Minn. Stat. § 363A.08, Subd. 2.  The MHRA also requires any employer with 15 or more employees (for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year) to provide reasonable accommodations to the known disabilities of qualified applicants or employees—unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship.  See Minn. Stat. § 363A.08, Subd. 6.

About Michael Miller

Michael is a Chambers-rated attorney in Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits, and Labor group and is head of the firm’s Employment Law Counseling and Compliance practice group. He has 25 years experience counseling employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law. Michael advises employers in all areas of employment law including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug/alcohol testing. For Michael's full bio, click here.

Posted on August 16, 2011, in Accommodations and Accessibility, Discrimination and Harassment and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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