Kaplan University PA 402 Unit 9
May 19, 2015
TO: John Doe, CEO
FROM: Sherry Metz, Attorney
RE: Disability Discrimination
DATE: May 20, 2015
It has come to my attention, that a situation has arisen, which requires immediate attention. An employee, with epilepsy, feels he may be discriminated against due to his physical impairment. I hope to clarify the disability Discrimination law, in an attempt to correct or improve the situation, before legal issues arise. I am going to explain the Companies legal obligations and responsibility as an employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act; explain the possible liability the Company, as the employer, can be held responsible, due to a successful claim being filed against this company. I will provide a brief overview of the federal laws, which protect the rights of individuals with disabilities; explain an individual’s right under the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide information, regarding the reasonable accommodations in work-related situations, which are required as per the law. I will also provide a brief history of the American and Disabilities Act and its amendments, and the potential ramifications for Title I employers and employees to clarify any misunderstandings of the law.
Employer’s Legal Obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides information and protection for those covered under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits a company, as the employer, to discriminate against any employee with a disability. Disability discrimination occurs when an employer treats a qualified employee or applicant unfavorably because of the individuals’ disability. If the employee or applicant has a history of a disability, such as cancer, which is controlled or in remission, the individual is believed to have a physical or mental impairment, which is lasting or expected to last six months or less and is not serious, even if the individual no longer has such an impairment (EEOC, n.d.). Harassing an individual with a disability is also considered to be disability discrimination (EEOC, n.d.). The ADA requires Companies, as employers to provide adjustments or modifications, which are considered reasonable accommodations, to applicants and employees with disabilities, to enable the applicants or employees the right to enjoy equal employment opportunities, unless doing so would be an undue hardship (EEOC, n.d.).
Liability an Employer can be held Responsible for under the ADA An employer is liable for disability discrimination if the owner, chief executive officer, manager, stockholder, or president of the company, is the individual who did the discrimination, or a supervisor of the company is the individual who did the discriminating, and such discrimination resulted in an adverse employment action (EEOC, n.d.). If the company refused to hire an individual with a disability, and this individual filed a successful claim, the company would be required to hire that applicant, which was refused employment, based upon their disability (EEOC, n.d.). If a company refused to promote or accommodate or harass an employee with a disability, and a successful claim was filed, the company would be required to reinstate, promote, and pay back pay, pay front pay until the individual was reinstated, restore employee benefits, make reasonable accommodations, pay attorney fees, expert witness fees, and court costs (EEOC, n.d.). If an individual can prove that the discrimination was intentional or that the company failed or refused to make a good faith effort to provide reasonable accommodations, then compensatory and punitive damages may also be awarded (EEOC, n.d.).
Overview of the Federal Laws, which Protect the Rights of Individuals with Disabilities. The Department