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Legal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires firms to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Consider such conditions as obesity, depression, dyslexia, arthritis, hearing loss, high blood pressure, facial scars, and the fear of heights. Imagine that you are a business manager and an employee comes to you asking that accommodations be made for these conditions. Under what circumstances might these conditions be serious enough impairments to deserve legal protection under the ADA? What factors would you consider in answering this question? After making these decisions, reflect on whether your decision was more a legal or ethical decision.

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The employee is requesting accommodations for a variety of conditions. While many of them
are not specifically covered under ADA, they may cause other conditions that are. The employee suffers
from arthritis, that may affect work, if mobility is limited and the employee will have difficulty
performing regular tasks, such as keyboarding, filing or using the phone, without special
accommodations. In addition, if the arthritis is severe enough, the employee may not be able to walk
the same distances as other employees. In this instance, accommodations for a wheelchair or a
relocation of the work station, which reduces walking distance, may be made. Dyslexia causes difficulty
with reading and writing. Therefore, if the employee faces challenges in producing written documents,
with the correct spelling and formatting, an accommodation that will help is the use of spelling and
grammar checking software applications and perhaps another employee to proofread. Another
employee can be assigned to answer any questions the individual may have about written material
received as well.

High blood pressure and depression are not generally considered disabilities, as they are
conditions that a large portion of the population suffers from and is usually treated with medications. ...

Solution Summary

The legal protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act is examined.