As outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (5),
prohibit discrimination in regard to job application procedures, hiring, advancement,
employee discharge, employee compensation, and job training. ADA also protects
individuals who have a relationship or association with a person who has a disability.
School districts are not required to hire an individual if that individual, with
or without an accommodation, is incapable of doing the essential functions of
the job. Establish written essential functions for each potential employment position
in the school district. Determine what, if any, accommodation can be made to allow
a disabled individual to perform those functions.
ADA requires public school districts with 50 or more employees to name an ADA
coordinator to deal with questions and complaints about ADA compliance and accommodations
and to establish a grievance procedure for the resolution of disputes under ADA.
It is recommended that all schools, including private schools and others that
are exempt under ADA, establish the same procedures.
A federal law known as the Family
and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides a total of 12 weeks (not necessarily
consecutive) in each 12-month period for any combination of the following reasons:
(1) the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child; (2) the employee's own serious
health condition; and (3) to care for a parent, spouse, or dependent who has a
serious health condition. Generally, for parental leave purposes, the FMLA leave
would also have to be taken in consecutive weeks and is only available for 12
months after the birth or adoption of the child.
Abraham JD, Strom DJ, Sloan M, McElroy L. A Guide to the Family & Medical Leave Act. Washington, DC: American Federation of Teachers, 1998.
Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. Pub L No. 101-336 (1990). Available at: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/pubs/ada.txt. Accessed February 7, 2002.
Bettenhausen S. Avoid Potential Liability: The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Public Schools. ERIC, Resources in Education. ED461966; 2001.