Posts Tagged ‘Americans With Disablities Act’

West Virginia Auto Dealership Learns Expensive Lesson in ADA Compliance and Meaning of Reasonable Accomodations

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

A West Virginia auto dealership learned a very expensive, $56,000 plus legal fees, lesson in ADA compliance this month.  The dealership settled a federal disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on December  16, 2011.  The EEOC had charged that Jim Robinson Ford-Lincoln-Mercury  unlawfully refused to accommodate the disability of a salesperson and then fired  him.

The EEOC charged that Jim Robinson  Ford fired Bryan Perry because of his disability, a leg condition that affected  his ability to walk, after denying him a reasonable accommodation. Such alleged conduct violates the Americans  with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In addition to the $56,000 in  monetary relief paid to Perry, the three-year consent decree resolving the  lawsuit enjoins Jim Robinson Ford from engaging in any further employment  practice that discriminates based on disability or retaliation. In addition, the decree mandates that the  company will adopt certain procedures and training to enable it to accurately  assess whether disabled employees can perform the essential functions of their  jobs and to identify reasonable accommodations that will assist disabled  employees, according to the EEOC press release.

Under the ADA, if an employer is asked to provide reasonable accommodations to a disabled employee the employee must establish what are truly essential and what are non-essential functions of the job.  This requirement is just one of the many reasons why it is so important for a company to have accurate and complete job description for each position.  Employers are also required to make reasonable accommodations with the intent being to balance good process practices, monetary concerns and the requirements of the job.  The ADA does not provide a specific definition of what is a reasonable accommodation since what is a considered reasonable will depend on the facts and circumstances of a particular situation. Reasonable accommodation may include modifying work schedules, making physical changes to the work site or equipment, adjusting supervisory methods, modifying a workplace policy, restructuring a job, providing a job coach, and/or reassigning an employee to a vacant position for which (s)he is qualified.  Reasonable accommodation does not require lowering performance standards or removing essential functions of the individual’s job.

Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., of the EEOC’s Philadelphia  District Office, commented “The  employer must then work to identify a reasonable accommodation for the  employee’s disability. Earnest, interactive  communication with the employee, viewing the purpose of the job and its  functions realistically, and carefully researching and considering options for reasonable  accommodation of the disability are all keys to ADA compliance.”

In  Fiscal Year 2011, the EEOC received a record 99,947 private-sector workplace  discrimination charges, the highest number of charges in the agency’s 46-year  history.

Further  information about this case is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-16-11.cfm

To download a free template to create job descriptions go to http://www.kpaonline.com/what-we-do/hr/hr-resources/whitepapers.html

 

EEOC Issues Final Regulations for ADA Compliance

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Can you define what is a disability and who is covered under the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) and ADAAA (ADA Amendments Act of 2008) ?  The answer to this question of what is a disability  under the EEOC final regulations may surprise you.  Watch this short video to learn about the impact on employers when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) final revised Americans with Disabilities Act regulations become effective on May 24, 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday ADA (Americans With Disablities Act)

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Happy 20th  Birthday to the ADA (Americans with Disability Act)! Since becoming the law on July 26, 1990 the ADA has protected the rights of the disabled including access to public places, enforcing non-discrimination and requiring “reasonable accomodation” in the workplace.  Further protections for the disabled were provided by the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).  This law made clear that courts needed to focus their attention on the illegal discrimination – not on whether the victim was disabled within the meaning of the law.    So how effective has the ADA been in the past 20 years? Unfortunately discrimination against those with disabilities continues in the workplace. Consider the following statistics from the EEOC website:

  • 1993: 15,274 charges of discrimination filed with EEOC, which obtained $15,496,811 in relief for 1,851 people though its administrative process;
  • 2009: 21,451 charges of discrimination filed, roughly a 30% increase.  EEOC got $67,826,112 in relief for 3,238 people;
  • From 1993 to 2009, ADA charges rose from 17.4% of all charges filed with the EEOC to 23% of all charges filed as ADA charges became a greater part of the EEOC’s workload;
  • During the same period, the EEOC filed 874 lawsuits claiming violations of the ADA, collecting a total of $86,633,804 for victims of disability discrimination.
  • Join the conversation: What is your experience hiring a disabled person or as a disabled person applying for work?