The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was brought into law to protect individuals who suffer from certain impairments. It states that these people cannot be treated differently by employers and are entitled to the same rights as anyone without a disability. You can face a significant lawsuit if an employee feels as though you have violated a provision within the ADA, making it important to familiarize yourself with the law so you do not have to go to court. All your employees should remain satisfied with the work being done.
Title I of the ADA
Title I of this law essentially states it is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or potential employees who are otherwise qualified to work on the grounds of having a disability. This law applies to local and state governments, private businesses, labor organizations and other occupational agencies. Companies that employ 15 or more employees need to comply with the law. The law prohibits discrimination in numerous aspects of the company’s operations, including the hiring process, firing process, job training, compensation, privileges of employment and advancement. This law is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Title V of the ADA
Title V of the law includes information about miscellaneous provisions. A crucial thing to note about this provision is that it does not cancel, override or amend anything about Section 504 within the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 protects people with disabilities and prohibits the exclusion of individuals from certain activities on the sole grounds of their disabilities.
One important aspect of Title V is that it protects individuals from retaliation or coercion. It guarantees that an individual has a right to exercise his or her liberties under the ADA without fearing employer punishment. This can include firing or threatening to fire someone for asking for reasonable accommodations. It also prohibits employers from interfering with disabled individuals attempting to get the accommodations they require.
Additional Information Regarding the ADA
Steps must be taken to ensure that everyone is granted a safe work environment and that any hostility is quelled before it gets out of control. While simple teasing may not necessarily be covered under the law, it could fall under its guidelines if it becomes so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment. Harassment can occur between two co-workers, a supervisor and subordinate, or an employee and customer. If one of your workers approaches you about having experienced harassment or discrimination in the workplace, then you must take prompt action to stop the counterproductive behavior.
The law also includes the fact that employers must offer reasonable accommodations to employees or prospective employees. That includes helping an employee carry out the responsibilities of his or her position or making it easy for an individual with a disability to apply for the position in the first place. A reasonable accommodation would include making changes to the building so that every area is wheelchair accessible. However, employers may be able to get out of making accommodations if it can be shown that pursuing such action would create an undue hardship on the employer. A company may simply not have the financial resources to offer certain accommodations. However, a business owner cannot refuse certain action simply because it would cost some money. If two options are available, then an employer could go with whichever one he or she feels like.
The ADA exists to help employees do their job to the best of their ability. You should review the law more in-depth to make sure you are doing everything required of you. With a little compassion and understanding, everyone can be given a work environment where they feel comfortable.
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