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4 Myths about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Debunked

Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has been protecting disabled workers by eliminating the barriers they face when it comes to employment and earning a living.

As the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has explained in regards to the ADA, “being inclusive of people with disabilities – in recruitment, retention, promotion, and in providing an accessible environment – gives businesses a competitive edge.”

Given that there are a lot of misconceptions about the ADA, as well as employers’ obligations under this law, below, we’ll dispel some common myths about the ADA.

Facts about the ADA: What You Need to Know

Myth 1 – The ADA requires employers to hire unqualified disabled job applicants.

Here are the facts behind some common myths about the ADA and employers’ responsibilities, a Los Angeles discrimination attorney explains.

Here are the facts behind some common myths about the ADA and employers’ responsibilities, a Los Angeles discrimination attorney explains.

Fact – Wrong! Employers are not required to hire people who are not qualified for a job, regardless of their disabilities. In fact, the ADA simply prevents employers from discriminating against qualified disabled workers.

This means that, for a disabled worker to be protected under the ADA, he or she “must meet all requirements for a job and be able to perform its essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations.”

Myth 2 – The ADA prevents employers from firing disabled workers.

Fact – Wrong again! Disabled workers can be legally fired from a job if:

  1. The firing is not related to the disability.
  2. The disabled worker has not fulfilled the job requirements, not meeting the performance or production standards of the job.
  3. The worker presents a “direct threat to health or safety in the workplace” due to the disability.

When, however, the disabled worker is fired (or is the target of an adverse employment action) as a result of his or her disability, this will constitute a violation of the ADA and will be grounds for a disability discrimination lawsuit.

Myth 3 – ADA lawsuits are flooding the civil court system.

Fact – This is simply untrue. ADA employment lawsuits, including both privately filed cases, as well as cases filed by the EEOC, represent a small percentage of the cases making their way through the civil court system.

In fact, in many cases, these suits are resolved in informal negotiation or mediation prior to trial, and the EEOC “offers many alternatives to litigation as a way to resolve any potential problem.”

Myth 4 – The ADA is frequently used for frivolous complaints.

Fact – This is also not true. The EEOC “carefully investigates the merits of each [ADA] case” and will dismiss any that do not meet the definition of disability or discrimination. Despite the fact that there may be a lot of media coverage for false or outrageous allegations of disability discrimination, cases that don’t meet the legal standards for action “are usually dismissed,” according to the EEOC.

Are you surprised by any of these facts about the ADA and disability discrimination? Or do you have other facts or myths to share? Sound off on our Facebook & Google+ pages.

Los Angeles Discrimination Attorney at Urbanic & Associates

Have you been the target of workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation? If so, you can turn to Los Angeles discrimination attorney at Urbanic & Associates for help defending your rights and pursuing justice. Since 2000, our lawyers have been dedicated, aggressive advocates for our clients, helping them stand up to even the most formidable opponents in any legal setting.

To talk about your options for justice with an experienced attorney, call (310) 216-0900 or send our firm an email using the contact form on this page.

From our offices based in Los Angeles, Attorney James Urbanic provides superior representation to clients throughout Los Angeles County and southern California, including (but not limited to) those in Glendale, Burbank, Alhambra, Van Nuys, Santa Monica and Orange County.