In 2005, the Equal Employment Opportunities commission (EEOC) reported 46 complaints by employees regarding ADA violations. That same year, the EEOC also reported that $2.0M in benefits based on direct suits and interventions were paid out to employees. In the grand scheme of things, this may not seem like a large number to you, but if you are a small business owner hit with a lawsuit, it can mean the difference between your ability to continue operating or having to sell your business.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires an employer with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities, unless it would cause undue hardship. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission defines a reasonable accommodation as any change in the work environment or in the way a job is performed that enables a person with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. There are three categories of “reasonable accommodations”:
- Changes to the hiring application process
- Changes to the work environment (or way a job is usually done)
- Changes that enable employees with a disabilities to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (i.e. access to job training)
Workplace barriers may be physical obstacles (such as inaccessible facilities or equipment), or procedures or rules (such as rules concerning when work is performed, when breaks are taken, or how job tasks are performed). Reasonable accommodation removes workplace barriers for individuals with disabilities.
A free guide from the EEOC called Enforcement Guidance on Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the ADA can assist small business owners with ensuring that they are in compliance with the ADA. Its a great resource to have on hand.
Or for more information and guidence contact Nevada Incorporation at IncPardise.com or call at 888-284-3821.