How To Avoid ADA Workplace Claims
Just over 48 million Americans have some sort of disability. They represent around 19.4% of the non-institutionalised population.
The majority of those people were not born with their disability. Often, it came about as a result of an injury that did not heal completely or illness.
So, in most workplaces, at least some of the staff will have some sort of disability. Or, if they do not now, could have in the future. Therefore, it is very important for employers to be aware of the issues they face and what they can do to make the workplace a safe place for people with disabilities. The last thing anyone wants if for a disabled employee to feel that they need to contact an ADA lawyer to sort out the issues they are having in your workplace.
It is far better for you to understand what is needed and provide it for them.
By working together you and your disabled employees can enjoy a working relationship that benefits both parties.
Understand the law
If you have not done so for some time, sit down and review the rules and regulations. You need to pay attention to national and state law when you do this. This excellent government site is a good starting point.
Identify areas for improvement
As you go through the information you will find there, create a checklist. Do this by looking at each rule and think about how it impacts your particular business.
- For example, one of the requirements is that you modify examinations to accommodate those with disabilities.
So, if you have an entrance exam review it to make sure that it complies with this requirement.
Take your time when doing this. The more comprehensive your list is the more useful it will be to you as you move forward.
Keep updating and improving your workplace and processes
As you make changes to the way your business operates, stop and think about the impact it will have on your disabled employees.
- For example, if you plan to change the layout of your canteen make sure someone considers how accessible it will be for people with disabilities.
As well as how easy it will be for them to get a meal without having to rely on someone else for help.
Make one individual responsible for ADA compliance
In many companies, it is a good idea to assign one person to the task of ensuring everything that you do is ADA compliant. That could be someone from HR or your health and safety at work officer.
Whoever is assigned that task needs to be properly supported and trained. It is usually a good idea for them to directly consult their disabled colleagues when identifying things that need to change. Taking this approach provides valuable insight into what works and what does not.
Regularly audit your ADA compliance
At least once a year, review things. Go through your premises and policies and identify any issues. Over time, standards drop no matter how hard you try to keep them high.
So, conducting a regular ADA compliance audit is essential.
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