Is Your Business in Line with the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA for short, is designed to ensure individuals with physical or mental impairments have an equal chance in the workplace. Failing to offer a fair shot at employment to the deaf, blind, wheelchair-bound, or other disabled persons could lead to a lawsuit against your business. While your employment practices liability insurance may help cover the costs of the legal proceedings, applying the following procedures could help you avoid such a situation:
  • You should consider offering your application in large print and Braille, as well as give the option for candidates to have the application read to them.

  • Any tests that are required for employment should be offered in a handicap accessible area.

  • You should be willing to modify the hours and tasks according to an individual’s need. For example, a deaf employee may be unable to create a transcription of an audio file, but he or she could still serve as a proofreader.

  • Have you considered the front of your building from a disabled individual’s point of view? Make sure no bushes, signs or other obstacles block walkways.

It may help to have an open dialog with your workers with disabilities – employees who feel comfortable enough to come to you with their problems may be less likely to file a lawsuit when they feel like their needs are not being met.
Even if you do implement inclusive procedures employment practices liability insurance should still be considered. There are a range of incidents that can lead to employment related law suits and not all incidents are within your control.