Employment Protections for People with Disabilities in Bellevue, Idaho

People with disabilities in Idaho have the right to be free from discrimination in the workplace. The Washington State Supreme Court has declared that employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees who are mentally or physically incapacitated due to injury or illness (on or off the job). This means that employers must provide reasonable adjustments to enable a disabled employee to participate in the job application process, perform the essential functions of a job, and enjoy the same employment benefits and privileges as those enjoyed by employees without disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 prohibits discrimination in employment against a qualified person with a disability.

The Idaho Human Rights Act and the federal ADA also forbid discrimination against people with disabilities. The State Human Rights Commission defines disabled people according to WAC 162-22-020 as “people with physical, mental or sensory disabilities that prevent that person from obtaining and maintaining permanent employment and promotion opportunities”. In addition, employment agencies and labor organizations must not discriminate against people with disabilities. The ADA also prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in state and local government services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will encourage the efforts of employers and individuals with disabilities to resolve such differences through alternative methods of conflict resolution, provided that such efforts do not deprive any person of the legal rights provided by law. In general, the smaller the company, the fewer resources it has to provide accommodation, so in a small business, only modest accommodation would not cause undue hardship to the employer. Six rallies will be held in different regions across Idaho to help people with disabilities understand their rights and employers to understand their responsibilities under the law. You can choose to attend in person or online; the choice is yours. If you are applying for a job, the employer cannot ask you if you are disabled or ask you about the nature or severity of your disability.

The ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against a person, whether disabled or not, because of a relationship or association with a person with a known disability. If you believe that you will need a reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions, you must inform the employer that an accommodation will be necessary. The employment attorneys at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in Bellevue can help you request that your employer provide accommodations for your disability or to exercise your rights if your employer has denied your request for reasonable accommodations. While there is more public debate about disabilities and less social stigma than a generation ago, employers don't always welcome workers with disabilities as required by law. The ADA of 1990 and other federal and state laws prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of disability and require that workplaces and other public places be established in a way that does not exclude people with disabilities, to the extent possible.

Homer Frymyer
Homer Frymyer

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