Advocacy: Challenge discrimination

Discrimination and ADA rights

The following is presented only as a guideline of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). State laws may also affect your eligibility and rights. Consult the EEOC or equivalent state/local agency in your area. The National Psoriasis Foundation does not provide legal advice.

ADA rights

Being considered "disabled" under the ADA is different than qualifying for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. The Americans with Disabilities Act prevents your employer from discriminating against you if you can successfully perform the essential functions of your job.

Your employer must make a "reasonable accommodation" to your known disability if it would not impose an "undue hardship" on your employer's business. The law defines undue hardship as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense. The law takes into consideration an employer's size, financial resources, etc.

Examples of reasonable accommodation include: modified work schedules, extra leave (above and beyond sick leave), uniform/dress code changes, etc.

ADA eligibility

While use of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is now routine, the ADA can be both more complicated and more difficult to qualify under. To qualify under the ADA, you must:

  1. Work for a company that employs 15 or more employees; and
  2. Have an impairment that substantially limits a "major life activity," such as walking, breathing, or providing basic care for yourself (usually, to meet such a strict requirement, you must have a severe case of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis); or a history of such an impairment; or be regarded as having such an impairment; and
  3. Be able to successfully perform the essential functions of your job, with or without a reasonable accommodation.

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