The Federal law known as the "Americans With Disabilities Act" applies to all private and federal applicants and employees, including railroad workers, who have disabilities. It does not apply to employees who are only temporarily injured while working.
Its purpose is to ensure that qualified individuals with disabilities, who are able to perform the essential functions of the position held or desired, with or without reasonable accommodation, are not denied employment or other opportunities because of their disabilities.
The law prohibits discrimination against a qualified individual with a disability in all aspects of the employment relationship, recruitment, advertising, application procedures, hiring, promoting, rates of pay, etc. It prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities merely because they are unable to perform marginal or peripheral functions to the position.
A railroad may be required to provide accommodations, such as job restructuring, making existing facilities used by employees accessible to and usable by employees with disabilities, and reassigning workers with disabilities to equivalent vacant positions for which they are qualified.
It is unlawful for a railroad not to provide reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless the covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its business.
The reasonable accommodation that is required is that qualified individuals with disabilities shall have equal employment opportunities.