Managers, do you understand the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Managers, do you understand the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

What are the major requirements of the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been viewed as the most sweeping antidiscrimination legislation since the 1964 passage of the Civil Rights Act. Additionally, many of the rights secured by the ADA are similar to those secured by the Civil Rights Act. For example, the ADA prohibits bias in employment, transportation, public accommodations, and more against people with disabilities. Businesses are also required to hire qualified people with disabilities if they have 15 employees or more and to make reasonable accommodations to permit the disabled persons ability to do the job (“Americans with disabilities,” 2008). Service industry and commercial establishments such as office buildings, restaurants, theaters, hotels, supermarkets, and dry cleaners are barred from denying service to people with disabilities. The ADA has greatly increased the ability of disabled people to live and function in society. I believe that the passage of this law is a step in the right direction although it cannot alter the prejudices within the workplace and with hiring.

The essence of the law is that it requires companies of 15 or more persons to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Accommodations in the work environment and to employment practice are governed by three categories of the ADA:

(i) modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires; or
(ii) modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or
(iii) modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entity’s employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities (EEOC, 2010).

Typically the accommodation of disabled persons includes removing workplace barriers that hinder the disabled employee from doing their job (EEOC, 2010). Such accommodations might include wheelchair ramps and electric doors. Bathrooms that are accessible and parking spaces that allows for unhindered access to vehicles could also be necessary to construct. These accommodations are however curbed on the basis of being unreasonable. If the cost for implementing these accommodations would exceed what the company could afford then it could be deemed unreasonable.


Americans with disabilities act of 1990, as amended. (2008). Retrieved from

Bennett-Alexander, D, & Hartman, L (2007). Employment law for business. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

EEOC (2010) Enforcement: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Retrieved on March 6, 2013 from

Photo by Nguyen Minh on Unsplash


Triola Vincent. Thu, Apr 01, 2021. Managers, do you understand the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Retrieved from

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