Americans with Disabilities Act
In 1990, Congress passed and the president signed the Americans Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from incriminating against the disabled in employment decisions. A disabled person is defined as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits him or her in a major life activity. It also includes those who have a record of such impairment. For example, a person who has recovered from a heart attack but is discriminated a inst would be considered to have a record of an impairment. Employers are required to undertake "reasonable accommodations" to adjust the work environment to meet the special needs of the disabled. Installing a ramp for a wheelchair-bound person is one example; providing a no-smoking area for an employee who is allergic to smoke is another The law doe not require employers to hire a disabled worker unless that person is qualified to do the job. If accommodations would impose an undue hardship on the employer, such as great difficulty or expense, the employer may the handicapped person. The law also specifically excludes from coverage current illegal drug users, homosexuals, people with sexual disorders, and compulsive gambler. Alcoholics and infected individuals are covered as long as they do not pose a direct health or safety threat to others, Recent court rulings have also extended protection to severely obese individuals."