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Shape of the state of Massachusetts with the article's title to the right.

Massachusetts Disability Discrimination Laws

Specific provisions for the state of Massachusetts.

Team Disclo
September 13, 2022

Employers can be required to provide reasonable accommodations for the physical or mental limitations of qualified employees and applicants with handicaps, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business. Undue hardship is determined based on factors such as:

  • employers’ overall business size in terms of workforce size, number and type of facilities, and budget size or available assets;
  • employers’ type of operation, including workforce composition and structure; and
  • the nature and cost of needed accommodations.

Covid-19: NOTE: The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted a preliminary injunction entitling an employee with asthma to telework as a reasonable accommodation under federal and Massachusetts law. The court found that the employee was likely to establish that their asthma is a disability during the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and that they are able to perform their essential job duties remotely (Peeples v. Clinical Support Options, Inc., No. 3:20-cv-30144-KAR, 2020 BL 353479 (D. Mass. Sept. 16, 2020)).

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.

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