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The Right Way to Talk About Disabilities in the Job Search

The topic of disabled employees and job seekers is a touchy one to say the least. On one hand, it’s important to give everybody a fair shot at putting in an honest day’s work and earning a livable wage. Conversely, you can’t let the inefficiencies or disabilities of an individual worker affect the productivity of your entire team. There comes a time when you have to make a compromise, but it’s important you have all the information you need to make an educated decision.

Understand the Law

The first step is to understand the laws on your own account. This can be a challenging task, given the varied nature of qualifying disabilities, but it’s critical you have a basic understanding of disability law, how it applies to your prospective job candidates and how it affects your business.

For example, the ADA mandates that employers must make “reasonable accommodations” for candidates with disabilities. However, it also mentions the option to deny a disabled applicant as a result of “undue burden” to the job or the workplace in general. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides more insight into this subject.

It’s also important to understand that a prospective candidate doesn’t necessarily have to disclose their disability. The only time this is necessary is when the recruit requires special accommodations on the job site. If they need help performing the day-to-day duties of the role, for example, they have to inform the hiring manager ahead of time.

Candidates can also enact their disability rights at any time. A recruit might be able to start their job without assistance or special accommodation, only to find the physical requirements are just too much for them to bear on a daily basis. In this case, they’re required to tell their direct supervisor and human resources – and that’s all. It’s up to them if they want to disclose their disability to anybody else in the workplace.

What Accommodations Are You Required to Provide?

Current disability laws in the United States are, in some ways, open for interpretation. Remember, you’re legally allowed to reject a candidate if they might cause an “undue burden” to you or your company – but what constitutes an “undue burden?” The answer varies from job to job, industry to industry and even between different cities and geographic locations.

The law is anything but clear or concise. You can always turn down an applicant if you think they’ll cause an undue burden – just make sure you have the evidence to back it up if necessary.

Working Within Current Disability Laws

As you can see, it can be difficult to maintain compliance with the current disability laws. While you absolutely have the right to turn away a prospect if you suspect an undue burden, they also have the right to open a court case for discrimination. You’re traversing shaky ground either way you look at it – the best thing you can do is familiarize yourself with potential candidates and ask the right questions during the interview process.

Work With a Top Staffing Agency in North Carolina

Are you looking for the right job candidates to bring to your team? Contact Mega Force today and work with a leader in alternative staffing solutions!



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