The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), first enacted in 1990 and amended in 2009 was put into place to eradicate discrimination against individuals with disabilities. In the workplace setting, ADA works to provide them with opportunities to live productive and fulfilling lives.
On this session, Richard Hodsdon joins Justice Clearinghouse once again. Rick is currently the Assistant County Attorney for Stillwater, Minnesota where he represents the county’s criminal justice agencies. With his prolific 4-decade career working in civil and criminal topics in the law enforcement, prosecution, and corrections field, he’ll provide a primer on the nitty gritty on the scope of the ADA.
Some of the points Rick covered on this course include:
- An overview of the ADA which was enforced by the EEOC in 1990 and its amendments made effective in 2009.
- The 4-point goals of the enactment of the ADA that focuses on eliminating discrimination, establishing standards and the government’s role in ensuring protection.
- ADA’s scope, limitations, the extent of compliance expected of private and public employers, and exemptions.
- The core of ADA’s Title I which prohibits discrimination in employment – including hiring, promotion, compensation, and training for individuals with disabilities.
- Specific areas of recruitment, employment, and the workplace that ADA specifies in its provisions.
- Pre-employment testing to ensure that standards and methods to evaluate candidates do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities unless it is specifically job-related.
- Prohibitions to make job-related decisions based upon an individual’s relationship or association to a person with disability.
- Ensuring that contracts that employers enter into do not discriminate against employees with disabilities.
- Unpacking the concept of reasonable accommodation by understanding:
- Limits of reasonable accommodation in instances of misconduct on the part of the individual with disability.
- Reasonableness as determined by the undue hardship that an employer might experience to accommodate a person with disability’s needs.
- Good faith effort where an employer is obligated to have an interactive process to consider the requests/accommodations needed by an employee with a disability.
- Attendance as a bona fide occupational qualification.
- Chance to fail where the employer is encouraged to permit an individual with disabilities’ requests to give the employee a chance to prove capacity.
- Direct Threat Exception where health and safety might be compromised due to exposure to contagious diseases or mental health concerns.
- How drugs and alcohol are dealt with in ADA cases.
- Proper positioning of disability inquiries and managing expectations during interviews.
- When medical exams may only be conducted.
- The amendments adopted in 2008 that overruled Supreme Court Decisions, impacting the definition of disability by re-establishing what constitutes major life activity and essentially looks at what will happen if that person does not treat the condition.
- During the Q&A, Rick tackled questions related to:
- The intersection of ADA, FMLA and company rules.
- The need for a designated ADA coordinator.
The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) is one of the largest associations of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs across the nation, and a total membership of more than 20,000. NSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice and public safety. Throughout its seventy-seven year history, NSA has served as an information clearinghouse for sheriffs, deputies, chiefs of police, other law enforcement professionals, state governments and the federal government.
- “Rick did a great job of defining the basic terminology (what is reasonable?). The real-life scenarios were extremely helpful in understanding how to apply this complicated law to our daily activities. Thanks, Rick!” — Kelly
- “Great valuable information regarding the ADA and I was especially glad to hear about the hidden disability issues that I was previously not aware of.” — Michael
- “Great job Rick! Hit it on the head; KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities). Rick’s knowledge (information), understanding (comprehension), and wisdom (application) translated very well to the broader audience.” –Elaine
- “Great detail in language we could understand. Very little legalese.” — Charles