Accessibility should still be a primary focus for businesses

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2021 | business litigation, employment law

When you begin the hiring process, you often have one goal in mind: to find the right talent for your business. You want employees you can trust to meet consumer needs and uphold your business’s values.

Of course, there are other elements to this process than finding talent. There are many rules you must follow. One of the most critical issues that you must remember is that legal protections apply to job candidates as well – not just your employees.

LAWSUIT HIGHLIGHTS POTENTIAL RISKS OF IGNORING HIRING RULES

Although this case is in Oregon, the theory applies to business owners here in California too. AP News reports that Viewpoint Construction Software and CampusPoint Corp. are now facing a lawsuit from a candidate who is deaf and whom they refused to hire in 2018. According to the lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the companies:

  • Refused to provide reasonable accommodations in the form of an American Sign Language interpreter for an interview; and
  • In turn, did not hire this candidate because of their disability.

Both of these actions are in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We have discussed the importance of complying with these laws in previous blogs. However, it bears repeating that businesses could face discrimination charges from current employees, but also potential candidates.

Remember: while candidates do have to meet the qualifications for the job posting, their disability cannot play a role in any hiring or employment decisions.

WHY IS IT CRITICAL TO POINT OUT THIS ISSUE?

As the focus on promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace increases, business owners need to recognize that they cannot overlook accessibility. Unfortunately, Forbes reports that accessibility is often the aspect of inclusion that gets lost in the mix.

Business owners must make sure they stay ahead of the game when it comes to complying with the ADA and creating an accessible workplace for consumers, employees and candidates. To accomplish this, it can help to:

  • Evaluate hiring processes, as well as internal processes for accessibility;
  • Identify issues or disparities in hiring and take time to resolve them effectively; and
  • Consult experienced business counsel about legal protections and requirements.

No business owner wants to face accusations of employment discrimination. Therefore, it is critical to take steps now to improve accessibility measures in the hiring processes