Americans with Disabilities Act -- Do's and Don'ts


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What is the ADA? The ADA is a federal law prohibiting discrimination based on disability. ADA generally applies to employers with 15 or more workers for a period of at least 20 weeks. This guide explains the do's and don'ts for ADA in various areas of your business.


Job Applications

Ensure that the job application process, including all testing methods, enables qualified disabled applicants to apply for jobs and be fairly considered.


Reasonable Accommodations

Accommodate disabled workers by making appropriate changes to the work environment so that they can perform essential job functions.


Equal Benefits and Privileges

Guarantee that all benefits and privileges of employment are equally available to (and usable by) disabled employees.


Communication and Documentation

Communicate with employees about reasonable accommodations, and document those communications.


Posting Requirements

Post notices of the rights granted by the ADA in a conspicuous place.


No Pre-Hiring Medical Exams

Do not conduct medical examinations of job applicants until after they've been offered the job.


No Segregation of Work Space

Do not separate disabled workers from other workers or ask them to work at home.


No Inquiry into Disability

Do not ask job applicants if they have a disability, and do not ask them to describe the details of the disability.


No Retaliation or Punishment

Do not punish, transfer, discipline or negatively evaluate any employee who makes an ADA complaint or cooperates in another employee's ADA action.


Make No Assumptions

Do not assume that a disabled employee cannot perform a job without first exploring what reasonable accommodations can be made without excessive cost, lower performance standards or re-structuring of the job.

Additional Resources

Leavitt, Moses A. Handicapped Wage Earners: As Studied by a Family Welfare Agency.New York, 1928. (This text discusses the "selling" of the handicapped to small-minded, ill-informed employers); La Dame, Mary Employment for the Handicapped: A Study of Placement Agencies for this Group in New York City. New York, 1927. (This text is significant because it is an early example of organized advocacy for the disabled in an era that predates much of the legislation that supported this overlooked minority. Moreover, like the previous text, despite its overall humanistic tone, it is peppered with many of the terms that have become offensive in recent years and in this way shows its antiquity); Jaffe A.J. and Lincoln H. Day Disabled Workers in the Labor Market. New Jersey, 1964. (Despite the difference of forty years, this book reflects the same tone as the La Dame book. It is an analysis of the advocacy groups for the disabled, and the conditions under which the disabled work if they work at all. It is interesting to note that this book was published the same year as the enaction of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a document that is historically recognized as an early step toward the ADA); Jacobs, Arthur T. How to Use Handicapped Workers. New York, 1946. (This book is primarily a guide to employers. Despite it's publication date, it has a progressive and forward-thinking tone. It serves to inform, and to dispel the prevailing myths that surrounded the employment the handicapped in the forties by interpreting the various pertinent legislation. It has a section about the various disabilities, their causes, and the extent to which they impair the worker. It even has a section called, "We're All Handicapped", that reminds the reader that "nobody's perfect."); Rugh, Jack Leighton Jobs for the Handicapped. California, 1983. HD7256.U52 C2 (This is a history of the West San Gabriel Valley Mayors' Committee for Employment of the Handicapped.); ........[Selected titles available in the Wirtz Labor Library of Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management of the U.S. Department of Labor. See].

U.S. Dept. of Justice - ADA Home Page

Office of Disability Employment Policy Web Page

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

LEGAL HELP -- Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick

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