Everything about Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Software
From employees with disabilities to employee injuries, companies and organizations need to be able to process and track issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These matters can often be handled with the help of an ADA software.
At its core, the ADA is a civil rights regulation that forbids, under specific situations, discrimination founded on a person’s disability. The ADA has comparable protections to those outlined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that made discrimination founded on ethnicity, religion, sex and nationality illegal. In 2008, the law was expanded by President George W. Bush to give wider protections for disabled employees and counteract court rulings which Congress called too prohibitive.
The federal law applies to employers with 15 or more employees including private companies, all governmental agencies, employment agencies, and labor unions. Within these qualifying employers, the Americans with Disabilities Act protects from discrimination against employees due to their physical or mental impairment, as well as protects from discrimination against employees that have a relationship with a disabled individual.
How HR managers should approach the ADA
Human Resource managers need to first immerse themselves in Americans with Disabilities Act basics and then stay current with any changes or conversations relevant to the law. There are a number of case studies available on the internet, and these should be viewed on an individual basis. The more essential background information employers know, the better positioned they will be to protect their employees and the company down the road.
As with many other issues, HR managers need to be connected with upper management when it comes to the ADA. How knowledgeable is upper management of the consequences of non-compliance with the ADA? Do you have their support to implement an ADA software or other assets? These are questions that can be answered by simply sitting down and having a conversation.
After meeting with upper management regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, it might be a good time to decide if a designated person or separate department needs to be appointed to handle disability-related issues. Ideally, the ADA coordinator or department would consult with or include any employees with disabilities.
All forms, procedures, and policies need to be reviewed periodically, and this is where an investment in an ADA tracking software could come in handy. Any ADA software needs to include application forms that are current and in compliance. The software should also include any and all relevant tracking of ADA cases.
Staff should also take time to focus on personnel decisions through the lens of the ADA. Do interviewers know what questions are appropriate? How should a person with an obvious disability be addressed during the interview process?
The Americans with Disabilities Act discourages a company from inquiring about an applicant’s past job-related injuries or employee’s compensation background. A company may mandate a medical examination and may base a job offer on the results of this examination before the individual begins to work for the company. However, all entering employees in the same job category must be given the same examination as a part of the interview process. ADA software can help with this part of the interview process while maintaining the need for medical confidentiality.
Job duties and ADA-related accommodations
ADA software can also be helpful when it comes to describing the job duties. While the law doesn’t mandate that a company describe the duties of each position, descriptions can not only inform personnel decisions – they can also help in setting up accommodations for employees with disabilities.
Accommodations made for an employee should be unique for every specific situation. HR managers should take a problem-solving approach that starts with examining the basic functions of a particular job. Next, staff should work with the employee and discuss how his or her situation affects their ability to carry out essential job duties.
Then, the employer should identify prospective accommodations, taking into account the preference of the individual. Finally, all parties should agree to the accommodation that is best suited for both the employee and the company.
HR managers need to be sure that any decisions made with respect to the ADA do not violate any labor agreements. If applicable, the union should be consulted before implementing any accommodations or policies. It should be noted that unions do fall under the auspices of the ADA.
ADA enforcement and complaints
Methods for figuring out compliance with the ADA and dealing with grievances concerning ADA compliance vary based on a range of factors concerning the type and size of the organization. For example, state and regional agencies with 50 or more employees must have a minimum of one employee accountable for managing ADA-compliance.
Employees have a number of ways that they can file an ADA complaint, including informal complaints to the company, formal complaints, legal action and contacting a federal agency.
What features should ADA tracking software have?
There are many HR information systems (HRIS) that touch upon the ADA regulations, but to ensure compliance employers will want to seek software designed specifically to handle ADA-centric issues. These solutions should include the ability to track and manage employee medical cases that could pertain to the ADA. Other features might include the ability to contact a third-party disability service provider, coordinate an employee’s return to work, and schedule appointments with healthcare providers.
ADA software should be designed to lead decision makers though the work-injury process. This starts with any incident reports and initial correspondences. The software should then guide decision makers toward compliance with the law.
ADA software should also be able to manage and generate reports for review by HR managers or upper management. These reports can inform cost-benefit analyzes with respect to ADA-related decisions.
Finally, ADA software should be structured so that a company can review disability cases on an individual basis. These reviews should determine the outcomes of all decisions made in a case. Past cases should also be reviewed to find any inefficiencies and unnecessary costs.
In conclusion, a comprehensive ADA software solution should be seen as a valuable investment that can save a company by increasing productivity and lowering risk of non-compliance.
Qcera can help you keep track of all federal, state, and employer policies, as well as of individual employee leave. This unique co-management system takes the workload off your hands while leaving you in control. Over 1 Million employees have already joined the Qcera network and provided themselves with an easy-to-use, cost-effective leave management system. Not only will you find a 65% reduction in administration time with LeaveSource, but you’ll also receive the support of leave experts and legal advisors. LeaveSource is customizable to the needs of your business and can handle any ADA policy fairly and consistently for each employee, no matter how complex the policy or how large the business. You can see how Qcera can help your business today by getting a free demo.