Is Your Business in Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enforces businesses to comply with certain rules to prohibit discrimination against anyone with a disability. If your business is not in compliance with these rules, you may be sued for a large sum of money. Don't wait until it's too late and call Kmet Consulting. Our HR consulting company can run an HR audit for you. We are here to explain what is involved with the Americans with Disability Act and what an HR audit can do for your business.

Our HR Audit Services 

An HR audit involves an objective look at your company’s:
  • HR policies
  • Practices 
  • Procedures 
  • Strategies to protect the company 
Our goal with an HR audit is to establish the best practices, identify opportunities for improvement and assess compliance with ever-changing rules and regulations.

In order to understand how the ADA can affect your business, we must first look at what the act consists of. If you own a business, Title I and Title III are two main points of the ADA you'll want to pay attention to. The ADA was designed to give disabled people the chance to experience what people who aren't disabled experience. For example, if you own a business and you have disabled employees, have a handicap accessible bathroom.

Title I requires businesses to provide people with disabilities with an equal opportunity to experience employment opportunities like everyone else. This pertains to qualified employers, meaning any company who is working in a commerce based industry, has 15 or more full time employees working each day and operates for at least 20 or more weeks out of the year.

Title III is more for businesses that provide public services, such as stores, theaters, doctors, restaurants, or hotels. Title III of the ADA requires businesses such as these to be fair toward customers with disabilities. For example, if own a hotel, you may be required to install a ramp for those people who are in wheelchairs, so they can enter your establishment also.

For more information on the ADA, see the following article from the the Department of Labor.


Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government’ programs and services. As it relates to employment, Title I of the ADA protects the rights of both employees and job seekers. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services. Title IV, which is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), also requires closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements.

While the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) does not enforce the ADA, it does offer publications and other technical assistance on the basic requirements of the law, including covered employer's’ obligation to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified job applicants and employees with disabilities.

In addition to the U.S. Department of Labor, several other federal agencies have a role in enforcing, or investigating claims involving, the ADA:

The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title I of the ADA. Title I prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in applying for jobs, hiring, firing and job training.

The U.S. Department of Transportation enforces regulations governing transit, which includes ensuring that recipients of federal aid and state and local entities responsible for roadways and pedestrian facilities do not discriminate on the basis of disability in highway transportation programs or activities. The department also issues guidance to transit agencies on how to comply with the ADA to ensure that public transit vehicles and facilities are accessible.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enforces regulations covering telecommunication services. Title IV of the ADA covers telephone and television access for people with hearing and speech disabilities. It requires telephone and Internet companies to provide a nationwide system of telecommunications relay services that allow people with hearing and speech disabilities to communicate over the telephone.

The U.S. Department of Justice enforces ADA regulations governing state and local government services (Title II) and public accommodations (Title III).

The U.S. Department of Education, like many other federal agencies, enforces Title II of the ADA, which prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the department.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also enforces Title II of the ADA relating to access to programs, services and activities receiving HHS federal financial assistance. This includes ensuring that people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have access to sign language interpreters and other auxiliary aids in hospitals and clinics when needed for effective communication.

Another federal agency, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB), also known as the Access Board, issues guidelines to ensure that buildings, facilities and transit vehicles are accessible to people with disabilities. The Guidelines & Standards issued under the ADA and other laws establish design requirements for the construction and alteration of facilities. These standards apply to places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities.

Protect Your Business with an HR Audit from Kmet Consulting

HR audits are particularly valuable after significant changes in an organization such as a restructuring, an expansion or a reduction-in-force. Kmet Consulting will work with you to identify employment issues, make recommendations for improvement and offer a plan for implementation that meets the needs of your business. We can also benchmark areas against organizations of similar size and/or industry. For HR help, call 877-783-5638.



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