For an individual's condition to be considered a "disability" covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act it must affect a major life activity. We've talked elsewhere about what constitutes a major life activity in this area of employment and disability law: What is a major life activity under the Americans With Disabilities Act?
Lifting is a major life activity, so a problem or lifting restriction may mean that the individual has a disability covered by the ADA and also by its Kentucky law counterpart, the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. Here's an example from a recent case, Thompson v. Fresh Products, LLC, where the plaintiff claimed that she had a covered "disability" based on a lifting restriction and the court agreed:
Thompson [testified] that her arthritis causes her pain and restricts her ability to do heavy lifting, which, in turn, affects her ability to do some jobs. Although she was not doing heavy lifting at Fresh Products, her doctor gave her lifting restrictions at a previous job.This evidence is sufficient to establish a fact dispute regarding whether Thompson has an impairment that substantially limits one or more of her major life activities, and therefore whether she is disabled under the ADA.
So the lesson is that an individual's testimony regarding her difficulties encountered lifting and a prior medical history -- a restriction imposed by a doctor -- is likely enough to establish that the individual does have a condition constituting a "disability" under the ADA and Kentucky law.
Here is some further information regarding disability discrimination law and the ADA:
When Is a Disability Covered by the ADA?
Should an Employee Request a Specific Accommodation for His or Her Disability?
Is a problem concentrating a disability covered by the ADA?
Is Reassignment A Reasonable Accommodation For A Disability?
Is chronic fatigue a disability covered by the ADA?
Is a work injury a disability under the ADA?
Lexington, Kentucky disability discrimination lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in disability and ADA discrimination cases in state and federal courts; contact him at 859-254-7076.