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First, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act deals with injuries on the job. The Americans With Disabilities Act deals with disabilities whether work -related or not.
In Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation, the term disability refers to a work injury plus wage loss. Under the ADA, disability signifies a mental or physical impairment that “substantially limits one or more of his or her major life activities” without regarding to economic loss.
Not everyone with a work injury will have a disability as defined by the ADA. In other words, the work injury may not be significant enough to “substantially limit a major life activity”.
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Act, if an injured employee is disabled from his or her pre-injury job, they are entitled to two-thirds of their wage loss.
Under the ADA, if a person is “disabled”, the remedy is that the employer has to make “reasonable accommodations” which means a restructuring of the job by reallocating or reassigning marginal job functions, modifying work schedules, altering of the ergonomics of a work station, or possibly changing work equipment.
The two bodies of law converge in many more ways, but this is a basic overview.
(Note the ADA applies to private employers who employ fifteen or more employees, and to state and local government employers regardless of the number of employees).
For more info about the Americans With Disabilities Act and Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation, call experienced Pennsylvania Work Place Injury Lawyer, Michael W. Cardamone at 215-206-9068 or email Michael@cardamonelaw.com