Disability discrimination claims are on the rise according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They have steadily increased over the last decade, making up nearly 36% of all cases filed with the EEOC in 2020.
That is why employers must be consciously aware of the steps they can take to reduce those claims, especially when it comes to the hiring process.
REMEMBER, THE ADA APPLIES TO HIRING PROCESSES
California employers know that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prevents discrimination against those with disabilities in the workplace. However, it does not only protect employees. The ADA applies whenever an employment decision or action is made – including the applying, hiring and training process. That means it also covers qualified applicants and candidates for a position.
Therefore, employers must ensure they understand and apply the technical elements of the ADA in these situations. They must also take great care to:
- Make sure their applications do not include questions regarding medical history or disability information
- Be careful about the questions they ask applicants during the interview
- Provide reasonable accommodations to applicants when requested
- Adjust training practices and processes as necessary
Individuals do not have to be employees in order to file a discrimination claim. This is critical for employers to remember.
BE VIGILANT DURING SCREENING PROCESSES TOO
All employers must also keep the rules of the ADA in mind as well during the screening process of employees. NBC reports that it is becoming a popular practice for employers to have applicants complete aptitude and personality tests during the screening process. These tests and the assistance of automation can help make the hiring process more efficient.
Yet, this report states that these tests and many other automated tools often unfairly discriminate against individuals with disabilities. This is all not to say that employers should not use these efficient practices, but they must be aware of the potential issues they could face. They must have a strategy in place when using these tools, so they can avoid the legal risks.