The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance on January 24, 2023, that explains how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to applicants and employees who are deaf or hard of hearing or have other hearing conditions, such as tinnitus or sensitivity to noise.
The ADA is a federal law that requires employers with 15 or more employees, along with state and local governmental employers, to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities unless it would cause undue hardship. It also prohibits employment discrimination based on disability and restricts employers from asking about or obtaining certain medical and disability-related information about employees and applicants.
The EEOC first issued guidance on how these rules apply to individuals with hearing conditions on May 7, 2014. The newly released guidance is a revised and renamed version of that original document.
What has changed?
The EEOC’s new guidance provides information and examples, in question-and-answer format, to explain:
- What types of reasonable accommodations individuals with hearing disabilities may need;
- When employers may ask an individual about a hearing condition and how they should treat voluntary disclosures;
- How employers should handle safety concerns about individuals with hearing disabilities; and
- How employers can ensure that no employee is harassed because of a hearing disability or any other disability.
Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.