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4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. BLR’s Human Resources Training Presentations The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Part I
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Goals Determine which employees are covered. Know how to handle pre-employment inquiries. Know how to handle post-offer inquiries and examinations. Determine which events disqualify employees. Understand the definition of an “undue hardship.”
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Basic Statutory Obligations Disability discrimination by employers prohibited Reasonable accommodation required
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Covered Employees Private employers and employment agencies with 15 or more employees State and local governments, but not the federal government
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Qualifying Events Qualified individual must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity; OR A “record of” such impairment; OR Be “regarded” by others as having such an impairment.
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Employee Eligibility Qualified individual with a disability Can perform the job with or without reasonable accommodation
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Notice and Posting Requirements Notice must be posted that describes the protections of the ADA Put in posters and employee handbooks
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Pre-Employment Inquiries May ask about reasonable accommodation when: – Applicants are told what the hiring process involves (e.g., a written test) – Employer knows that an applicant has a disability (obvious or voluntarily disclosed) – It is described or demonstrated how the applicant would perform the job
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Post-Offer Inquiries and Examinations Reasonable accommodation and documentation Pre-employment physical Medical exams and disability inquiries
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Employee Notice Employee must self- identify if disability is not obvious. Eligible employee and employer must discuss reasonable accommodation.
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Medical Certification After an offer, certification is permitted to establish need for reasonable accommodation
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Independent Medical Examinations When disability documentation is insufficient Conducted at the employer’s expense
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Disqualifying Events Failure to provide necessary medical information Refusal of a reasonable accommodation
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Undue Hardship Accommodation not required. Consider the nature and cost of the accommodation.
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Substance Abuse Alcoholism covered as a disability Current illegal drug use not covered Drug tests not prohibited
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Other Exceptions Direct threat to health or safety
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Attendance Policies No-fault leave policies allowed
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Summary The ADA does not interfere with an employer’s right to hire the best qualified applicant. The ADA covers employers and employment agencies with 15 or more employees. The qualified individual must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Summary (cont.) The individual must be a qualified individual with a disability who can perform the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Under ADA, an employer may not ask about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability until after the employer has made the applicant a conditional job offer.
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Quiz 1. ADA gives people with disabilities favored status in employment decisions.True or False 2. ADA gives equal opportunities to disabled persons who have the required background and can perform a job’s essential functions.True or False 3. To comply with ADA when interviewing job applicants, you may ask: a. “Do you have a disability?” b. “Are you able to perform such and such a task?” c. “Will your wheelchair prevent you from getting around the office?”
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Quiz (cont.) 4. It’s fair to make assumptions about what a person with an obvious disability can or can’t do. True or False 5. Employers can refuse to make any reasonable accommodations for the disabled as long as that fact is clearly stated in their handbook. True or False
4/00/31511251 ©2000 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Quiz Answers 1. False. It gives qualified people with disabilities equal opportunities. 2. True. 3. b. “Are you able to perform such and such a task?” 4. False. You shouldn’t make any assumptions based on disability. As with everyone, you have to judge the individual’s qualifications and abilities. 5. False. Employers must make reasonable accommodations unless they pose an undue hardship in terms of difficulty or cost.
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