Dawicke Law
Jason E. Dawicke, Attorney at Law
Dawicke Law
P.O. Box 663
Lewis Center, OH 43035

Disability Discrimination

Disabled individuals are afforded numerous rights and protections under both state and federal laws. Determining whether you are disabled, however, can be an onerous task. In fact, you may be "medically" disabled but not "legally" disabled. For example, from the perspective of Social Security, workers' compensation laws, and private insurance, the key consideration in determining the existence of a disability is the inability to work. Yet, such a showing may be inadequate to demonstrate a "legal" disability.

In order to establish a "legal" disability, you must demonstrate that you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Therefore, if you have severe diabetes, and your condition substantially limits your ability to eat or sleep, you may be legally disabled. Unfortunately for many employees, the US Supreme Court has interpreted the "substantially limiting" component of this definition to be assessed in light of any corrective devices used by the individual. Thus, a diabetic who can control her blood sugar through regular insulin injections might not be able to establish that she is legally disabled.

Temporary conditions will not typically qualify as a disability. The condition must generally be permanent or at least of a long-term nature. Sometimes, however, you may not even be physically or mentally impaired, and still have a "legal" disability if your employer regards you as being disabled. If this all sounds complicated, it is.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and corresponding Ohio law prohibit employers from taking adverse employment action against employees because of their disabilities. The ADA also imposes a duty upon employers to reasonably accommodate known disabilities unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer or your medical condition poses a serious risk of harm to yourself or others in the workplace. Fortunately, the employer bears the fairly difficult burden of proving that a requested accommodation poses an undue hardship. Therefore, if you can demonstrate that your employer made decisions adversely affecting your employment based on your disability (real or perceived) rather than the merits of your work, you may have a claim for disability discrimination. You may also have a claim for disability discrimination if you have been denied a reasonable accommodation. In addition, the ADA prohibits harassment based on your disability or perceived disability.

If you feel that you have been subjected to some form of disability discrimination, please complete the following form fields:

All fields are required
Full Name:
Phone Number:
Email Address (if none, enter N/A):
Preferred Method of Contact:
Employer at Issue:
Form of adverse action suffered
(i.e. fired, laid off, demoted, etc.):
Date(s) of adverse action:
Type of Physical or Mental Impairment?
Does your physical or mental impairment substantially limit your ability to perform tasks of central importance to your daily life (i.e. bathing, brushing your teeth, completing household chores, etc.)? If "yes," describe:
Please provide a brief description as to why you feel that you were discriminated against based on your disability:
If you feel that you were denied a reasonable accommodation, briefly describe your requested accommodation and the employer's response.
What reason(s) do you anticipate that your employer will offer as justification for taking the adverse action against you?
Submission of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Upon review of your responses, I may offer to represent you. Unless and until you receive a signed letter from me confirming representation, I have not agreed to represent you. In addition, submission of this form does not relieve you from complying with all applicable statutory deadlines required for filing your claim(s) with the appropriate agency or court.