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Work: ADA Protections 101: Discrimination, Harrassment

ADA Prohibition Against Harrassment

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Under the ADA, you cannot be harrassed. For ADA purposes, "harrassed" is when a person is subjected to offensive conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile or abusive work environment.

Harassment doesn't have to come from an employer. It can be harassment by co-workers as well.

There is no clear definition of "harassment" for purposes of the ADA. It's more like pornography: the courts know it when they see it. Basically, it is unwelcome harassment  based on your "disability" that is so severe or happens so often as to alter a condition or privilege of employment

Following are a few examples of prohibited harrassment which are meant to help clarify what is meant by harassment. The examples are far from all encompassing:

  • You return to work after brain surgery and a surpervisor refers to you as "plate head"
  • A supervisor sabotages your work because she is afraid of people who are HIV positive
  • Telling other employees not to talk to a "disabled" person

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