Are you physically, mentally or psychologically challenged or do you have one of your family members who is disabled? Are you wondering whether your rights are protected? The constitution of the United States guarantees the rights of disabilities in all its states. However, some states have enacted laws that provide more protection than their counterparts. All these laws are founded in regulations, statutes, and rules of procedure in courts commonly known as case law.
The congress or the State legislatures passes the statutes while the enactments that give life to the statutes are enshrined in the regulations drafted and domiciled in the respective agencies. These agencies are expected to ensure that the laws are respected. In other words, they enforce the law and resolve any disputes arising out of the complaints brought by people living with disabilities. The courts are established to help with interpretation of the laws and make decisions concerning the disputes. Here are some of the areas where the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is used to create and maintain the rights of those with challenges.
Guarding Against Employment Discrimination
Those with disabilities are not to be discriminated based on their disability. Instead, employers and organizations are bound by the laws and are expected to provide fair and equal opportunities without regard to the disabilities of some people. Sections 501 and 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 also guarantees the right to equal opportunities. The ADA binds all employers who maintain 15 or more employees while the Rehabilitation Act is applicable to the federal government and state governments, Federal contractors and all organizations that benefit from Federal funds.
The rules barring employers against discrimination in their organizations bind all the areas of employment. Disabled people are not supposed to be subjected to different treatment or testing whose main goal is to discriminate them. Instead, the law expects that all Americans living with disabilities are accommodated alongside their needs.
Employers are also required by law to create conditions that do not subject the disabled to hardships. Having said this, all the disputes that would arise about what is reasonably fair may be resolved. Physical access should be facilitated by the employers through various ways, including elevator, ramps and handrails. Signage should also take care of people with disabilities. For example, braille signs should be put on elevators to cater for people with eye problems. On the other hand, people with hearing disabilities are to be provided with communication devices or sign language interpreter to help them comprehend the communication in the organization.
Under the Disability Act, any person who has suffered discrimination is required to make a complaint in writing with the responsible agencies and authorities that are assigned the duty of enforcing the laws. It is necessary to notify the agency before taking a further action of filing the suit in the court of law. Different States have different time limits when a person can file a lawsuit seeking remedies for discrimination. This should be filed as soon as you feel that you have been discriminated and seek the help of an experienced lawyer in your region. A local lawyer is best placed to interpret and apply the Americans with Disabilities Act and the state laws so that you stand a higher chance of obtaining reasonable compensation for the discrimination suffered.