What are my obligations as an employer under the ADA?


This year marks the Silver Jubilee of Americans with Disabilities Act. Though the nation has come a long way in making public spaces and the workplace more accessible to people with disabilities, employers in Louisiana may not entirely understand how the ADA affects them and what their obligations are under the act. Misunderstanding between employers and people with disabilities can potentially result in litigation.


In essence, when the ADA was passed in 1990, the law made it illegal for any employer to discriminate against individuals with a disability who were otherwise qualified to perform the job. The ADA further expanded on this by outlawing discrimination against any person suffering from a disability in government services whether it's at the state or local level, as well as in public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications.

Employers should know job discrimination against any disabled individual is illegal regardless of whether it's a private employer, a state or local government or an employment agency. Similarly, labor organizations and labor-management committees are not exempt and are therefore also subject to the ADA. The ADA covers any and all employment practices whether they be recruitment, hiring, firing or employee advancement and promotion. It also covers discrimination with respect to job assignment, training, employee leave and layoffs and any other employment-related activities.

For employers interested in learning more about their obligations and rights under employment law, contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for more information may be helpful. Often, disputes which may arise between an employee with a disability and their employer can be resolved through alternate dispute resolution techniques such as mediation or negotiation. Still, employers may want to do everything they can to protect from lawsuits in this delicate area. An employer who has questions or concerns may find it helpful to contact an employment litigation law firm for more information to ensure that they are in compliance with ADA provisions.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "The ADA: Your Responsibility as an Employer," Accessed August 3, 2015

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