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As a small business owner with no formal HR training, maintaining compliance with the variety of HR-related policies is a huge undertaking. They can be tough to keep up with for even the most experienced HR professional.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are laws that we often see questions about. See below for insight from industry professionals on the ADA specifically.
The ADA (including the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and the laws of most states prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on: current disability, past disability, perceived (regarded as) disability or associated with disability.
Here’s how the ADA defines the term disability:
The ADA prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals on the basis of disability in the following scenarios:
The ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees.
You can learn more about the basics right here.
Our HR team recently sat it on a presentation at the Philly SHRM Symposium by attorney Michael Cohen of the Duane Morris law firm. He specializes in FMLA and ADA and mentioned some common mistakes he’s seen when dealing with ADA and reasonable accommodation.
According to the EEOC, a qualified employee (or a job applicant) with a disability is someone who with or without reasonable accommodation can perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodation includes, but is not limited to:
Employers are required to make these reasonable accommodations to enable people with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities. The accommodations vary depending on the needs of the individual and not all people require the same accommodation. (Ex. A deaf job applicant could need a sign language interpreter during the interview).
Of course there are a lot more factors that play into compliance with the ADA so you’ll want to ensure you’re well educated on it.
If you want to avoid mistakes like this, it’s a good idea to consider reaching out to your trusted advisor.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your own legal advisor regarding specific application of the information to your own plan.