Disability rights and employment law intersect in many ways, with accommodations and protections being a critical part of the relationship. Employees with disabilities must have access to the same employment opportunities and benefits as workers without disabilities.
Employers must legally provide reasonable accommodations that allow employees with disabilities to perform their job functions comfortably and effectively.
The importance of reasonable accommodations
Reasonable accommodations are changes to a work environment or job that allow an employee with disabilities to perform their work functions effectively. This can include providing assistive technology or equipment, modifying job duties or making physical modifications to the workplace.
Employers must legally provide reasonable accommodations unless doing so would cause undue hardship. Failure to provide reasonable accommodations can lead to a discrimination claim.
Protections for employees who request accommodations
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The ADA protects employees who request reasonable accommodations from retaliation by their employer. This means employers cannot take adverse employment actions against workers who request disability accommodations. Employers who retaliate against employees who requested accommodations may face legal action.
The hiring process and accessible workplaces
During the hiring process, employers must provide reasonable accommodations, including modified application procedures, accessible testing materials and providing sign language interpreters for interviews. Additionally, employers cannot make hiring decisions based on an applicant’s disability.
Employees with disabilities must be able to access their workplace easily. This includes having available entrances, restrooms, workstations and accessible technology or equipment. Not only is an accessible workplace required by law, but it also creates an inclusive work environment for everyone.
Disability rights in the workplace help ensure that all employees have access to the same opportunities and fair treatment.