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What rights do disabled people have in the workplace?

In Minnesota, you have equal rights in the workplace, regardless of any physical or mental limitations you may have. As long as you have the skills, education and ability to successfully perform at the workplace, you are protected under The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This legislation prevents employers from engaging in workplace discrimination if you have an impairment that limits your ability to carry out certain activities.

According to the Minnesota State Council on Disability, you and other disabled workers have the following rights:

  •          Any information regarding your impairment, should you choose to disclose it to your employer, must be kept confidential.
  •          You are not required to tell your employer that you are disabled, unless you need your employer to provide certain accommodations to help you perform your job.
  •          You don’t have to let your employer know your exact medical condition. For example, if you have a condition that impacts your ability to hear, you only need to tell your employer that you require assistance with that limitation.
  •          You don’t have to give your employer a list of the medications that you are taking. If a medication causes a certain side effect that affects your work, you may want to let your employer know.

In some cases, employers may have to modify equipment or adjust work schedules in order to accommodate your disability. For instance, if you are unable to walk long distances, you might need a parking place that is closer to the building. With the proper help from your employer, you should be able to contribute to the success of the company. This information is intended only for education and not as legal counsel.

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