Discrimination and Accommodations Policies in the Workplace Enacted in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) grants people with disabilities rights to fair housing, education, public transportation, public accommodations, telecommunications and employment. Businesses are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and must make reasonable accommodations for recruits and workers. ADA covers businesses, organizations and government agencies that employ 15 or more workers, labor unions and employment agencies. Definition of Disability Under the ADA To qualify for ADA protection, the worker must have a medical condition that meets the definition of “disability,” including: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities A history of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities Regarded as having a disability by others Because the ADA does not specifically name impairments that are covered by the legislation, the line as to what constitutes a disability can sometimes be up for debate. The main factor is whether the medical condition places substantial limitations on a major life activity. Discriminatory Conduct Businesses are prohibited from discriminating against workers with disabilities when making employment decisions, such as: Recruitment and hiring Termination Wages Benefits, including health and retirement Training opportunities Work conditions Shifts, projects or assignments In addition, businesses are responsible for harassment of individuals with disabilities and must respond to grievances and take action to stop harassment and discrimination by coworkers, supervisors and clients. Reasonable Accommodations The cornerstone of the ADA is the reasonable accommodation […]Read More
Time Off for Medical and Family Matters The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted in 1993 to provide certain employees with the right to take time off to obtain medical treatment, give birth or care for a sick loved one. During the leave period, the worker’s job is protected and the employer is required to maintain the employee’s health insurance under the same terms as if he or she were continually employed. The FMLA statute is intended to help employees appropriately balance work and family life. FMLA Worker Eligibility To be eligible for FMLA benefits, a worker must have been employed by the covered employer for at least 12 months, which do not have to be consecutive, and have performed at least 1,150 hours of work for the employer within the immediately preceding 12 months. The FMLA permits eligible workers of covered employers to take unpaid, protected leave for up to 12 workweeks within a 12 months period to: Give birth and to care for the newborn baby Adopt or foster a child and to take care of him or her Care for a spouse, child or parent who has a serious injury or illness Take medical leave associated with the worker’s serious medical condition Deal with an emergency arising out of active military duty of the employee’s spouse, child or parent In addition, the FMLA provides for military caregiver leave, which entitles the worker to up to 26 workweeks of leave within a 12-month period to care for a sick or […]Read More
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