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Disabilities and reasonable accommodations — Pennsylvania

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities and allow those who have been discriminated against to file complaints seeking monetary and injunctive remedies. While the ADA limits liability to employers, under the PHRA, an individual supervisor or third party can be held liable for aiding and abetting the employer’s acts of discrimination. In addition, the PHRA provides protection to independent contractors from discriminatory acts.

Under the ADA and the PHRA, a person is considered to have a disability if that individual either:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of that person’s major life activities
  • has a record of such an impairment
  • is regarded as having such an impairment. 

Under the “regarded as” prong of the ADA, an individual meets the requirement of “being regarded as having such an impairment” if the individual establishes being subjected to an action prohibited under the act because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment, whether or not the impairment...

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