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5 Things Every Employer Should Know About the Americans With Disabilities Act

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other areas of life. Here are some key things employers should know about the ADA:

1. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applying for a job or already employed. A reasonable accommodation is any change to the work environment or job duties that would allow the individual to perform the essential functions of the job.

2. Disability-related inquiries and medical exams are restricted

Employers are prohibited from asking disability-related questions or requiring medical examinations prior to a job offer, with some exceptions. Once a job offer has been made, an employer may require a medical examination or ask disability-related questions, as long as all applicants in the same job category are required to do so.

3. The definition of disability is broad

The definition of disability under the ADA is broad and covers a range of impairments, including physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. It also includes conditions that are not currently disabling but have the potential to become so in the future.

4. Harassment and retaliation are prohibited

The ADA prohibits harassment of an individual with a disability and retaliation against an individual who has opposed discrimination or participated in an ADA-related investigation or proceeding.

Telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation

In certain circumstances, telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation for an employee with a disability. However, whether or not telecommuting is reasonable depends on the job duties and work environment.

It’s important for employers to stay up to date on changes to the ADA and to ensure compliance with the law in their hiring and employment practices.

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