Understanding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- On 19 March 2018
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
It is the law. Employers are required to make “reasonable accommodations” for persons with disabilities. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees with disabilities. Companies need to make special arrangements for their workers who may be physically or mentally unable to perform certain tasks. Employers should make their staff feel safe and comfortable in the workplace and reasonable accommodations can help employees perform their tasks and duties efficiently.
If an employee asks for something, do not automatically deny the request. Ask questions; the request may be ADA related. Encourage your employees to approach you or the management team with requests or questions that may be ADA related. If your employee requires accessibility accommodations due to a disability or an injury, it’s important for you to take action to ensure that their needs are met, so long as the request is “reasonable”. Open up the “Interactive Conversation” with those employees; it is the law! For example, if an employee requests a change to their schedule, asks for additional unpaid time off, or requests changes to their work location, employers should ask questions to see if their request might be ADA related. If so, then open up the interactive conversation and document your conversation.
Understand the word “Reasonable,” when it comes to the accommodation. What may be “reasonable” to a larger employer may not be “reasonable for a smaller employer. Every Company should effectively evaluate what is reasonable for them.
Cover disabilities and reasonable accommodations in your employee handbook. Make sure that your employee handbook contains a section regarding ADA compliance, and “reasonable accommodation”.
HR consultants are on stand-by to answer any questions you may have. Our experienced and friendly HR consultants are very familiar with the ADA requirements and can help you with any questions or concerns you may have. We can provide you with HR best practices to utilize in your workplace to create an environment that promotes good employee relations, and keeps you compliant when it comes to your responsibilities regarding ADA.