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The Americans with Disabilities Act is 25

By / March 26, 2015 / Uncategorized No Comments

Americans with Disabilities Act has been in the news recently because 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the landmark legislation. This is a good time to remember how important it is for employers to stay up to date on compliance issues related to hiring employees with disabilities and offering reasonable accommodations.
I’ve been reading a lot about the ADA this week and wanted to share some blog posts and articles about its applications and enforcement.

A How-To Guide to Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Reasonable Accommodation. Blogging4Jobs: “After 1992 employers with 15 or more employees could no longer deny employment for a qualified person with disabilities based on their disabilities alone. What does ‘disabled’ mean to the Americans with Disabilities Act? It breaks down into three categories: a person who has physical or mental impairment that limits major life activities, a person with a record of physical or mental impairment that limits major life activities or a person who is regarded as having physical or mental impairment that limits major life activities.”

What Companies Should Consider When Interviewing Candidates with Disabilities. Houston Business Journal: “Disability discrimination claims have been on the rise for the past five years, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. And as an employer, it’s important to know the facts to make sure you’re not next. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in everything from employment to government programs. But if you’re an employer without a human resource office to use as a resource, it can be a tricky issue to navigate when it comes to hiring, employing or firing an employee with a disability.”

Hey Pregnant Lady, Why Don’t You Stay Home, Enjoy Some of our Doughnuts, and Put Up Your Feet? Fox Rothschild: “This case has a rather simple lesson that is one of the basic premises behind the Pregnancy Discrimination Act  — that employers cannot assume that pregnant employees will be unable to work or will not be dedicated to their jobs once they become pregnant or have children….A related lesson for employers is that the general rule under the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations is that an employer cannot require an employee to provide medical information unless the request for information is job-related and consistent with business necessity.”

What Is a “Direct Threat” to Health or Safety Under the ADA? The National Law Review: “The EEOC has provided some guidance on the direct threat analysis. According to the EEOC, an employer’s determination of whether an individual with a disability poses a direct threat to health and safety should be based on an evaluation of the individual’s present ability to safely perform the job and a consideration of the following four factors: (i) the duration of the risk; (ii) the nature and severity of the potential harm; (iii) the likelihood that the potential harm will occur; and (iv) the imminence of the potential harm. As stated in the EEOC’s response to Question 16 in its ‘Questions & Answers about Blindness and Vision Impairments in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),’ the harm must be serious and “likely” to occur, not remote or speculative.”

U.S. Attorney Launches Review Of 25 Restaurants For Compliance With Americans With Disabilities Act. U.S. Department of Justice: “Owners and operators found to be non-compliant will have the option of entering into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement with the Government whereby they voluntarily agree to upgrade their facilities to meet ADA requirements.  Owners and operators found to be engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination, or that fail to enter Voluntary Compliance Agreements, may face a civil lawsuit brought by the Government and/or be subject to penalties, including monetary penalties and civil fines.”

Concerned about reasonable accommodations and ADA compliance at your organization? Contact us for help.

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