The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Not Covered as a Disability Under ADA

Reference Number: MTAS-1057
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: February 21, 2017
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Some examples of impairments not covered under ADA may be: Appendicitis, short bouts of depression, weight conditions within normal ranges, normal height deviations, traits and behaviors, cultural or economic disadvantages, normal pregnancies, quick temper, poor judgment, irritability, physical characteristics such as being left-handed, hair color, eye color, homosexuality, bi-sexuality, gender disorders, broken limbs, gambling addiction, eye or hair color, height, weight, lack of education, old age, poor judgment, sprains, current use of illegal drugs, sexual behavioral disorders, and disorders caused by the use of illegal drugs.

Stress
According to the EEOC, stress may be shown to be related to a mental or physical impairment. Similarly, traits such as irritability, chronic lateness, and poor judgment are not, in themselves, mental impairments, although they may be linked to mental impairments.

Other Examples of Non-covered Conditions
Broken limbs, sprains, concussions, appendicitis, common colds, or influenza generally would not be disabilities. A broken leg that heals normally within a few months, for example, would not be a disability under the ADA. However, if a broken leg took significantly longer than the normal healing period, and during this period the individual could not walk, he or she would be considered to have a disability. Or, if the leg did not heal properly, and resulted in a permanent impairment that significantly restricted walking or other major life activities, he or she would be considered to have a disability.

This list is not all inclusive and does not cover all possible scenarios related to these conditions. Additionally, each individual should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Complications to common non-covered conditions can often result in eligibility under ADA.

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