When employing people with disabilities, you have to remember that they are just like all other employees who look to be part of a company, contribute and make a living.
In some ways, they may even be better than employees who have no disabilities because they may appreciate the chance that you gave them more.
That is why it is important that they are treated fairly in the workplace.
To help you, here are some tips that you can follow, when employing people with disabilities:
Know the law
Qualified employees with disabilities are protected under the law.
The best way to avoid discrimination or harassment lawsuits is to know what the law asks of you as an employer.
The two main laws that protect disabled employees are the federal law Americans with Disabilities Act and the state law California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Both laws prohibit discrimination against a disabled employee on all facets of employment and require employers to provide reasonable accommodation as long as it does not cause them undue hardships.
Do not make assumptions
If you have preconceived ideas about disabled people, you should throw that out the window because most probably that is not true.
You should judge the employee based on his performance and not his disability.
Consult the disabled employee
Do not just decide the accommodation that the disabled employee needs.
Consult the employee to find out what you and the company can do to help her adjust to the working environment.
Consult with your Staff
Two heads are better than one, or in this case, more people who are giving ideas and suggestions, the better.
Consult your employees about the situation and they may be able to help you find a suitable solution.
Only provide reasonable accommodation
If the accommodation being requested by the employee will cause undue hardships, then you are not required to provide it.
An accommodation can cause undue hardships if the cost to provide it is too high or if it will interfere with the operations of the business.
However, you should inform the employee that the accommodation requested cannot be provided and explain to him the reason.
Present offers such as sharing the cost of procuring the requested accommodation with the employee.
Ask for legal advice
Aside from knowing the law, it would not hurt if you consult with an employment law attorney to get a deeper understanding of the situation.
The employment law attorney can advice you on what practices could be considered discriminatory and what accommodations can cause undue hardships.