All employers must understand the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and ensure compliance. Why? Because failure to comply can result in severe penalties and even lawsuits. Perhaps more importantly, compliance is the right thing to do since the purpose of the regulation is to prevent discrimination based on a person’s disability. Below are different ways to ensure your business is ADA compliant.
Implement Clear Policies and Procedures
One of the first things you’ll want to do to make sure everyone understands and complies with ADA is establish clear policies and procedures. This is something that must be in writing and provided to all employees. Simply put, you can’t expect your team to comply with a regulation that is not understood. By implementing policies and including them into your employee handbook, you’re much more likely to achieve consistent compliance.
Ensure Accurate Knowledge of Laws and Regulations
One of the reasons why some organizations find it difficult to comply with ADA is because it can be somewhat hard to interpret the requirements. Some companies misinterpret the measures that must be taken to accommodate an employee. However, there are many different resources available to ensure your understanding of the requirements. In fact, associations in your industry can likely provide tips for ensuring compliance.
Treat All Employees with Fairness
It’s been said that the best way to ensure compliance with ADA is by treating others the way you would like to be treated. In the workplace, that simply means treating all employees fairly without making any assumptions. In other words, don’t assume that an applicant is unable to perform a certain tasks. Instead, inquire about their capabilities as it relates to the job. There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to assessing a person’s capabilities. It’s important to communicate effectively to truly understand what a person can and cannot do as it relates to the job requirements.
Thoroughly Document Incidents and Concerns
What puts some employers at risk is not documenting incidents that occur along with any concerns that are expressed by employees or applicants. Documenting this type of information will demonstrate your compliance with ADA should there be a formal complaint of non-compliance. Documenting what has happened with a lot of detail can protect your organization down the road.
Understanding regulations, keeping employees informed, and treating everyone fairly is a recipe for ADA compliance. As aforementioned, simply following the golden rule of treating others as you want to be treated can make a big difference. It’s important to keep in mind that compliance can enable employees to reach their full individual potential, which is beneficial to the bottom line.