Four Common ADA Violations and How You Can Prevent Them

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that affects virtually every employer across the country. It is designed to help protect those who have disabilities from experiencing discrimination in the workplace, in the housing market, in educational settings, and elsewhere. It is easy to see the significant value in this type of law. However, it is also very easy for employers and business owners to be in violation of the ADA and not even realize it. Below are just a few of the most common violations that may affect your company.

  1. Facilities-Related Violations

Your business location is required to have some special features to accommodate those who have physical disabilities, such as:

  • Having marked parking.
  • Using ramps that have the appropriate grade.
  • Mounting toilets at the appropriate distance from a wall or partition.
  • Having adequate space around merchandise in aisles or product display areas.

The Institute for Human Centered Design and the ADA National Network maintain a checklist that can be very helpful for ensuring that your facilities are compliant with federal law. Keep in mind, however, that this checklist should not be used exclusively. You also should consult with a law firm like Integrated General Counsel to learn about local laws that might affect you as well.  

  1. Job Posting Language

Open job postings should not exclude individuals with disabilities or discourage them from applying. While you certainly can set out any specific requirements, such as the ability to lift heavy equipment, you also should state that those with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In many situations, you can make accommodations for these workers, but not always. You do not have to hire someone with a disability if he or she cannot do the basic functions of the job without an unreasonable accommodation, but you do not want to exclude anyone in your job posting either.

  1. Denial of a Job Based on Disability

If an applicant is otherwise qualified, you cannot deny him or her a position based on their disability alone. Keep in mind this general rule for hiring someone with a disability: if the applicant requires an accommodation to do the essential functions of a job, then the employer must provide that accommodation unless the accommodation is unreasonable. An unreasonable accommodation is often defined as very burdensome, difficult, or expensive.

  1. Harassment Within the Workplace

It is essential to make every worker feel comfortable in your business. When co-workers or supervisors make jokes or are cruel to an employee because of a disability, that can result in a hostile workplace, which is not permitted by law. Keep in mind that as an employer, you are responsible for what your employees do and say when interacting with other employees. This means that if harassment is occurring, you need to do something about it or you may face a discrimination lawsuit.

If you are unsure whether your business is fully compliant with the ADA, Integrated General Counsel can help. Give us a call today to set up an appointment.

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Written by Integrated General Counsel

Our focus includes handling a variety of corporate matters and also includes litigation in state and federal courts. Our current practice includes providing transactional services and representing a variety of small and medium-sized companies as their outsourced general counsel.