Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an employer law that prevents discrimination against individuals with disabilities. ADA is applicable to a lot of individuals and covers employers with 15 or more employees. There are several things you need to know about ADA to stay in compliance. Here are some of them:
Who is Eligible
Only certain people are eligible to be protected under ADA. These individuals must have a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities, have record of such an impairment, or be regarded as having that impairment. Some possible impairments include blindness, diabetes, deafness, cancer, and many more. Mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression can also be considered disabilities under the ADA. Drug or alcohol use for any reason is not protected under ADA but alcoholism may be considered a disability under the ADA.
Under ADA employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are typically small adjustments to processes, workplace layout, and work schedule that the employee couldn’t perform their job without. A few examples of accommodations are adapting workplace design so a wheelchair can move through the space or offering a flexible schedule to an employee with cancer so they can make their chemotherapy appointments.
Reasonable accommodations are called reasonable because employers are not required to make any accommodations that would cause “undue hardship” on their company. Undue hardship includes anything that requires extreme difficulty or high expense to carry out.
There are several protections in place for those under ADA. These protections make it illegal for employers to ask job applicants questions about existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Employers may ask candidates questions related to physical or mental capabilities only if it’s necessary to the job and all other candidates are asked the same questions. This is one reason that updated job descriptions outlining the necessary duties of each job are important. ADA also makes it illegal for employers to share employees’ or candidates’ medical information.
Understanding the nuance of employment laws, particularly ADA, can be difficult. If you have any questions about ADA or other compliance laws, reach out to Helpside at firstname.lastname@example.org.