The Americans with Disabilities Act: Employee Right to Privacy v. Union Right to Know

Bernadette Marczely
David W. Marczely

DOI: 10.2190/5GJT-6AW0-HV0L-EARM


This article explores the potential conflict posed by the Americans with Disabilities Act's (ADA) concern for individual privacy rights, and the National Labor Relations Act's (NLRA) provisions for informed exclusive representation in all aspects of collective bargaining. The ADA is designed to encourage full participation of the disabled in the workplace by promising disabled employees reasonable accommodation to their needs with the assurance that their privacy rights will be protected. The NLRA, in contrast, protects the collective interests of employees in the workplace through the informed and exclusive representation of an elected bargaining agent. The apparent conflict between the goals and procedures mandated by these laws is discussed in light of judicial decisions that have weighed the individual's right to privacy against the union's right to know.

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