Specific provisions for the state of Maine.
If employees and applicants request accommodations for their known disabilities or medical conditions, employers must engage in a good-faith, documented process to identify effective, reasonable accommodations. Employers aren’t required to make accommodations that would cause undue hardship because they would be unduly expensive, require extensive physical or structural modifications to the workplace, or would fundamentally change business operations. Employers also aren’t required to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals who are only regarded as disabled.
Reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, making worksites accessible, modifying or acquiring equipment or devices, restructuring jobs, creating part-time or modified work schedules, reassigning employees to vacant positions, modifying examinations, providing qualified readers or interpreters, and leaves of absence.
Employers can’t require employees and applicants to accept accommodations. However, employees won’t be considered qualified if they reject a reasonable accommodation that is needed to perform their essential job functions. Employers also can’t deny employment benefits because of a prospective need to make reasonable accommodations for employees’ disabilities.
Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers, including state and local governments, with 15 or more employees, are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities. Title I protects qualified individuals with disabilities in several areas, including job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation and job training. It is also unlawful to retaliate against someone for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on disability, or for filing an ADA discrimination charge. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) shares enforcement authority for Title I of the ADA with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which has primary responsibility for enforcing the employment provisions of the law. (Note: Federal employees and job applicants are covered by Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 instead of the ADA.