“Disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” It is further stated as inability in relation to a personal or group standard. The various natures of disability may be mental, physical, or sensory disorders. “The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.”
For an individual to be considered qualified he/she should be able to, with or without reasonable accommodation, execute the basic duties of the job being applied for. Reasonable accommodation as provided in the Act could be:
- Ensuring the disabled can easily get access to and use the amenities used by the employees;
- Restructuring the jobs;
- Reallocation to unfilled positions;
- Adjusting or purchasing new tools, modifying tests, training materials or policies and availing trained interpreters and readers for the disabled.
The extent of accommodation provided by the employer should not put “undue hardship” on the business. According to The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, undue hardship is an act necessitating a major expense in comparison to the employer’s financial ability, size, and the way it operates.
In this situation, the employer is covered by the Act due to its size and is therefore bound to provide for the needs of the disabled employee. Applicant C is considered a qualified employee because according to the company, he has qualified for the job but is denied the position just because of the requirements for the company to make some minor changes in two of their four elevator cars. Company X denies applicant C the job on the basis that his/her employment would impose an undue hardship on the company as provided in the Act. This explanation is neither satisfactory nor true because Company X is quite big considering its size because its offices actually occupy seven floors of a building; out of the four elevator cars used by the company, only the buttons in only two of them would have to be lowered only four inches to enable applicant C to perform his duties as expected. This is a very minor action that cannot be classified as causing “undue hardship” on the business. In this situation there was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 by company X in denying Applicant C employment as the company should have made the necessary adjustments to their facilities, in this case, the elevator car buttons to accommodate the disabled employee.