The Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly known as the ADA, prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and access to state and local government programs and services. Because of the times in which we live, you may be wondering whether COVID-19 is a disability under the ADA.

A few lower-level federal courts have weighed in on the issue. In May 2021, a federal district court in Georgia determined that COVID-19 itself is not a disability. And in recent months, a few other lower courts have agreed.

While right now these courts are saying that COVID-19 isn’t a disability under federal law, remember that this disability analysis is a fact-specific inquiry including:

  • a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • a history or record of such an impairment; or
  • a perception by others that the individual in question has such an impairment.

This is something for employers to keep in mind as COVID-19’s Delta variant makes its way across the country.

To date, no New York court has weighed in, so we’re watching this carefully. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the ADA or COVID-19, reach out to the attorneys at The Coppola Firm. We’re here to help.