According to BusinessWeek, in 2010, there were 25,165 disability discrimination charges filed with the EEOC, up from 21,451 charges in fiscal year 2009. Now starting in May, numerous small businesses will be impacted by a few major amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The new regulations specify a whole list of impairments that the EEOC recognizes, including: deafness, blindness, autism, cancer, cerebral palsy, diabetes, epilepsy, and major depression. In September 2008, the ADA was officially amended, and now these changes will be enforceable.
However, instead of placing the burden of providing proof solely on the employee, the revised Act seeks to hold employers responsible. The message is clear that instead of an employer or HR focusing on whether an employee is disabled, they should focus on the potential discrimination and accommodation they can make available.
For small businesses, this compliance may cost them more money and resources to respond to claims.
The EEOC estimated that up to 38 million disabled people may be impacted as a result of these changes, plus businesses may end up spending between $60 million to $180 million to provide reasonable accommodation and any legal costs.
Read the BusinessWeek article
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