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Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2015 | Employment Litigation

Florida employers and employees should be aware of laws that aim to prevent discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Among these laws is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The United States Department of Justice notes that this Act has been amended over the years but its basic premise remains intact—to provide people with disabilities opportunities for employment equal to their non-disabled counterparts.

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains that the ADA stipulates that all employees as well as those people applying for jobs be treated fairly. Discrimination based upon disabled status can include harassment, such as negative comments that create an unpleasant and even unsafe working environment.

Employers are also required to make reasonable accommodations for disabled persons. The lack of doing so can be considered discrimination. This accommodation can include expense to the employer although the law does consider the amount of cost relative to the size and resources of the business. When multiple options for accommodation exist, it is the employer and not the employee who has the right to select which one will be utilized.

It is also important to note that discrimination can happen even when a disability is suspected or when a person has had a disability in the past that is no longer present. Additionally, the ADA bans discrimination against a person who has a relationship with a disabled person based upon that relationship. Issues can involve all aspects of employment from hiring to compensation as well as job tasks or functions.