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Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2016 | Employment Litigation

Florida business owners and managers must remain abreast of a variety of employment laws and requirements. One of these laws is the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even though the ADA has been a part of American employment law since 1990, many people may still be unsure about exactly what it provides for disabled workers and what is required of employers.

One important point outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor is that any company with less than 15 employees is not bound by the provisions of the ADA. This is an effort to ensure that small businesses are not financially harmed if the need to provide accommodation arises. Additionally, no company is ever required or forced to hire a person with a disability and there is no mandate to give preference to any disabled job candidate or current employee. There is also no affirmative action portion of the law.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains that employees can only receive protection under the ADA if they are actually qualified for a specific job. For example, a disabled person with a high school diploma who is not hired for an accountant position would not be eligible to use the ADA to claim discrimination.

The law considers a disability to be any impairment that hinders important life acts such as self care, walking, talking, seeing, and hearing. Discrimination of any person with a disability is prohibited under the ADA. The law applies to any element of employment from recruitment to compensation and more.