Most employers (we hope) are well aware that the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against “qualified individuals with a disability.” Nevertheless, many employers may not realize that the ADA also protects applicants and employees from discrimination based on their relationship or association with an individual who has a disabling condition. Generally speaking, there are three types of associational discrimination claims:
- “Expense” discrimination
- Employer fears that association with disabled person will be costly to the employer.
- “Disability by association”
- A relationship with a disabled person means employee may also be disabled.
- A relationship with a disabled person will prevent the employee from completing job responsibilities.