As an owner of a business, making sure that your company is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a legal obligation. Although you may believe that your company is following the law when it comes to the ADA, you may be falling short of compliance through the following three common mistakes.
The most common way that your company might be failing to comply with the ADA is through having strict and inflexible periods of leave. For example, if your company’s policies define a period of automatic termination for an employee if they do not return by a certain date, your company may not be ADA compliant. Another area in which leaves of absence may get your company into trouble concerns requests for unpaid leave. In order to be ADA compliant, unpaid leave counts as reasonable accommodation under the ADA as long as the employee needs it and the leave does not present your company with an undue hardship.
When most people think of being compliant with the ADA, they consider the physical accessibility of their company. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners try to make their compliance more complicated than is truly necessary. Be honest with yourself when you consider the physical location of your business. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Ask yourself some simple questions to determine how easy it is to get in and out of buildings and offices. If you find yourself thinking that certain areas are easier to get into than others, that particular area of your business is likely not ADA compliant.
In the past, the introduction to your business may have come in the form of your front door. These days, the “front door” of your business is often your website. Does it have to be ADA compliant? Yes, and the risk of legal action over your website not being ADA compliant is real. This includes both making your external websites more accessible to disabled customers and making your internal intranets compliant for potential workers.
Making sure that your company is ADA compliant can be a very stressful task for many business owners. New lawsuits and rulings concerning the ADA occur every day. The best way to make sure that your business is compliant is to consult with a qualified and experienced attorney. That way, you can ensure that your company is doing what it must to comply with the law.