Employers should always be careful to understand the rules of hiring employees and maintaining a positive relationship with them. Employees with grievances can cause trouble for a company, even going as far as to file lawsuits.
One of the areas that you should be sure you are familiar with includes the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This act protects employees who have disabilities against unfair treatment in the workplace. As an employer, you need to meet the act’s requirements in most circumstances.
What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?
The Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as the ADA, is a civil rights law. This law was created in 1990 and prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disabilities. This includes discrimination during hiring, promotional activities, in the workplace and more.
The ADA is there to guarantee that those with disabilities will have the same opportunities as those who do not. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces Title I of the ADA, which specifically states that employers are prohibited from discriminating against those who have disabilities but who are otherwise qualified for jobs. They cannot be discriminated against when applying for a job, during hiring, during firing or when involved in training.
What can you do to prevent disability discrimination in the workplace?
If you want to protect your employees against discrimination, it is important to have a discrimination-free workplace and to take immediate steps to correct discrimination if or when it occurs. If an employee has a disability or develops one, it is your responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to them, so that they can complete their work. There are exceptions, such as cases when providing an accommodation would cause significant expenses or difficulty for you as an employer.
This act also protects those who are in a relationship with someone who has a disability. Keep this in mind, because if an employee feels that they have been discriminated against because of a spouse’s disability, then they could also have a claim against you for any discriminatory actions taken.
If you have questions about the ADA or other disability concerns, it’s worth discussing them with your attorney before involving an employee.