The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which went into effect in 1990, has had far-reaching impact on both persons with disabilities and those without. It includes a number of provisions which have ultimately made life easier for millions of Americans. However, there are still instances where employers and public facilities do not always follow the guidelines set by the ADA.
The Law Firm of Jacobson & Rooks, LLC has competently represented many individuals with disabilities whose needs, as outlined in the ADA, are not being met. These include provisions of Title I, which pertains to employment, and Title III, which pertains to public accommodations.
● What are the basic provisions of Title I?
Not only does Title I prevent discrimination during the job application and hiring process, but it also mandates that employers who have 15 or more employees make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities in the workplace.
● What are reasonable accommodations?
A reasonable accommodation allows someone to perform their job adequately regardless of their disability. Accommodations might include making existing facilities wheelchair accessible, modifying work schedules, or acquiring additional equipment. Because the term “disability” refers to such a broad range of conditions, employers may need to make different accommodations for different employees, unless it would impose “undue hardship.”
● What is undue hardship?
If the necessary accommodation would impose too much of a financial burden on the employer, or would significantly impact their operation, then it would be considered an undue hardship.
● What are the basic provisions of Title III?
Under Title III, privately owned, public facilities are are prohibited from discriminating against individuals on the basis of their disability. Such facilities might include restaurants, hotels, stores, medical offices, and other similar facilities. Title III mandates that these facilities must be made accessible to all members of the public, including those with disabilities.
● What makes a facility accessible?
There are many components to accessibility since individuals with disabilities have varied needs. Ramps may need to be installed to make the building easily accessible to someone using a wheelchair. Fire alarms should have both visual and auditory components so that everyone can be aware when there is an emergency and have sufficient time to safely evacuate. Hospitals and hotels with TV’s should also provide closed captioning services for their guests. Again, the types of accommodations that are necessary will vary with the type of facility.
If you have additional questions about the ADA, or you feel that your needs are not being met by an employer or public facility due to your disability, call the Law Firm of Jacobson & Rooks, LLC today.