The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 21: Labor

Chapter 5: EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES

Sub-Chapter 6: Fair Employment Practices

21 V.S.A. § 495d. Definitions



§ 495d. Definitions

As used in this subchapter:

(1) "Employer" means any individual, organization, or governmental body including any partnership, association, trustee, estate, corporation, joint stock company, insurance company, or legal representative, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, and any common carrier by mail, motor, water, air or express company doing business in or operating within this State, and any agent of such employer, which has one or more individuals performing services for it within this State.

(2) "Employee" means every person who may be permitted, required, or directed by any employer, in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to perform services.

(3) "Employment agency" means every person, corporation, association, or governmental body representative thereof engaged in the business of advertising for advising, classifying, training, or referral of persons for employment within this State, or which at the direction of any employer advertises, locates, advises, classifies, trains, refers, or selects persons to engage in any employment.

(4) "Labor organization" means any organization or association which represents not less than five employees and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours, promotions, or other terms and conditions of employment.

(5) "Individual with a disability" means any natural person who:

(A) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities;

(B) has a history or record of such an impairment; or

(C) is regarded as having such an impairment.

(6) "Qualified individual with a disability" means:

(A) An individual with a disability who is capable of performing the essential functions of the job or jobs for which the individual is being considered with reasonable accommodation to the disability.

(B) Does not include any individual who is an alcoholic or drug abuser whose current use of alcohol or drugs prevents such individual from performing the duties of the job in question or whose employment, by reason of such current alcohol or drug abuse, would constitute a direct threat to property or the safety of others.

(7) "Physical or mental impairment" means:

(A) any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; or endocrine;

(B) any mental or psychological disorder, such as developmental disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental condition or psychiatric disability, and specific learning disabilities;

(C) the term "physical or mental impairment" includes diseases and conditions such as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, and drug addiction and alcoholism.

(8) "Substantially limits" means the degree that the impairment affects an individual's employability. An individual with a disability who is likely to experience difficulty in securing, retaining, or advancing in employment would be considered substantially limited.

(9) "Major life activities" means functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and receiving education or vocational training.

(10) "Has a history or record of such an impairment" means that the individual has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more life activity.

(11) "Is regarded as having such an impairment" means that the individual

(A) has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities but that is treated by an employer as constituting such a limitation;

(B) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or

(C) has none of the impairments defined in subdivision (7)(A) of this section but is treated by an employer as having such an impairment.

(12) "Reasonable accommodation" means the changes and modifications which can be made in the structure of a job or in the manner in which a job is performed unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer. Reasonable accommodation may include:

(A) making the facilities used by the employees, including common areas used by all employees such as hallways, restrooms, cafeterias, and lounges, readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; and

(B) job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, and other similar actions;

(C) factors to be considered in determining whether an undue hardship is imposed by the requirement that reasonable accommodation be made for an individual with a disability include:

(i) the overall size of the employer's operation with respect to the number of employees, number and type of facilities, and size of budget; and

(ii) the cost for the accommodation needed.

(13) "Sexual harassment" is a form of sex discrimination and means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

(A) submission to that conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or

(B) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a component of the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual; or

(C) the conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. (Added 1975, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 1981, No. 65, § 3; 1993, No. 39, §§ 2, 3, eff. Oct. 1, 1993; 1999, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 130.)