- They a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- There is a record of such an impairment; or
- If they are regarded as having such an impairment
In order to determine if alcoholism is a disability under the ADA, the employee must satisfy one of the above requirements. The first requirement, a major life activity, includes, but is not limited to: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, lifting, bending, communicating, and working. Typically, the employee will claim that the major life activity that is impaired by their alcoholism is their ability to work. In this case, they would have to show that they are restricted from performing either a class or broad range of jobs compared to the average employee.
If the employee is successful in showing that a major life activity has been impaired by their alcoholism, they must then request a reasonable accommodation. However, while an employer must accommodate an employee if their alcoholism is considered a disability under the ADA, they are still permitted to terminate the employee if they portray “egregious misconduct.”
If you have any questions regarding alcoholism as a disability under the ADA, please contact to an employment law attorney.
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