Americans With Disabilities Act Prostate Cancer – Learn More

July 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is legislation that was passed and signed into law by the United States Congress in 1990 with a single aim of prohibiting discrimination against people with various disabilities, to guarantee equal access to employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications. The thing about the ADA that makes it a lot more likeable than most of the laws that went before it was that whereas all the others were much more limited in scope, the ADA addresses various issues and forbids unequal treatment of people with disabilities in that broad variety of circumstances.

Of course you must either have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, have a record of such impairment, or are regarded as having such an impairment to obtain the protections provided by ADA; but who’s to say a cancer patient does not qualify? Life’s major activities include walking, speaking, breathing, seeing, hearing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing tasks that involve the use of hands. Several federal government agencies, namely the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), enforce different provisions of the ADA.

Being a capitalist country, most Americans are very concerned about the spate of their businesses, and are as a result very watchful about the kinds of people they hire. For ages, therefore, most employers have indeed discriminated against various people with various disabilities, and this needs to stop. On November 6 1992, therefore, the federal government filed its first suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act, on behalf of Charles Wessel, an executive in a Chicago security guard company, charging that Wessel had lost his job when his employer learned he had cancer.

Sure, under the auspices of the act, prostate cancer patients are also protected and may file a complaint when it becomes apparent that their employer is discriminating against them. The United States Supreme Court made it easy by issuing a number of rulings that clarified who is considered disabled under the ADA. In Bragdon v. Abbott (1998), the Court ruled that HIV and AIDS infected people qualify. People whose impairments are correctable may not be considered disabled under the ADA too. Thus, the ADA does not protect from discriminating people with medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure that can be controlled by medication. Companies may also define certain physical standards that workers must meet to hold certain jobs.

Prostate cancer usually affects aged and aging people who are likely in or close to retirement anyway, so, you might just be able to hold out until, Uncle Sam decides to pay you back.

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