The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coverage of Contagious Diseases

Publication Date: October 2008

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Population and demographics



The Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., provides broad nondiscrimination protection for individuals with disabilities in employment, public services, public accommodations and services operated by private entities, transportation, and telecommunications. As stated in the act, its purpose is "to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities." Due to recent concern about the spread of highly contagious diseases such as epidemic influenza questions have been raised about the application of the ADA in such situations. This report briefly discusses the Americans with Disabilities Acts' statutory provisions relating to contagious diseases and relevant judicial interpretations. It will be updated as necessary.