The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is probably one of the most confusing employment discrimination laws that employers have to deal with. This is especially true in the hiring context. The dilemma is that, as an employer, you want to be sure that a prospective employee can perform all the functions of the job, but at the same time you don’t want to violate the law and risk discriminating against a disabled applicant, who is part of a protected class, by asking or requiring things you’re not allowed to.
A very general rule that will get you through most situations is that you are only allowed to ask about an applicant’s abilities and not his/her disabilities. So, you’re allowed to ask an applicant how s/he would perform the job functions, but you’re not allowed to ask whether the applicant has any disabilities that would prevent her/him from performing the job.
Under the ADA, there are many questions that are not permissible. Below are some examples of things you cannot ask applicants during the hiring process:
While the ADA limits the types of questions you can ask during a job interview or in the hiring process, you are still entitled to ask certain questions and gain some knowledge about the applicant. For example, it is appropriate to ask questions similar to the following:
The ADA is highly complicated, like most other employment discrimination laws. There may be state laws that go beyond the ADA as well. An experienced employment lawyer will be able to help you understand the law and help you develop an appropriate interview process. Also, if an ADA discrimination case is brought against you a lawyer can represent you in court.
Last Modified: 10-01-2017 11:58 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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