All businesses eventually have to face issues that arise with disabled applicants and employees. Each business should have a firm grasp on the laws that define how a company should handle a disability. A business entity that does not abide by the law for disabled employees can end up with severe fines and a poor reputation. Therefore, all business owners should keep note of the following rules:
Disabilities are conditions that prevent a worker from performing regular duties without accommodations or special consideration. They include physical disabilities, mental illnesses, deafness, and blindness. Employers must accommodate persons that they hire with such disabilities. In other words, a deaf employee is entitled to amplified telephones, TTYs, interpreters, and any other accommodations that he or she requests. A person with a mental illness may need to have more breaks than another employee and an individual in a wheelchair may need a ramp. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits poor treatment of disabled workers and prevents discrimination based on such challenges. Employers must give disabled persons the same opportunities to obtain jobs as they give people who are not disabled.
Terminating an employee for a reason that is covered by the ADA or the EEOC can get an employer into serious trouble. As previously stated, an employer may not fire or refuse to hire a person based on his or her disability. Any disabled person who feels that he or she has been wrongfully terminated can visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of time off for people with certain disabilities. All employers who have more than 50 employees must abide by this law and provide the disabled employee with a medical leave as per the doctor’s orders. An employer may not terminate the disabled employee during the medical leave and must not hold a grudge against the employee for taking the time that is entitled to him or her. Employers should review the FMLA Act, as well as the ADA and EEOC sites, for additional information on how to deal with disabled employees. Taking the time to conduct research can save an employer from a world of trouble in the future. A business law attorney can assist a company that finds itself in a legal bind.