Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Topics: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Disability, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Pages: 11 (2909 words) Published: October 17, 2014
ADA of 1990

Colorado Technical University

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Term Paper
Professor William H. Louis
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
MGMT235
Introduction to Business Law

By
Student’s Name Omitted by Instructor
Colorado Springs, Colorado
March, 2014

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ADA of 1990

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Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1964 prohibited discrimination against specifically protected groups of individuals. Title VII of the CRA made it unlawful for employers to discriminate against individuals based on their race, religion, sex, color or national origin. A few years later, Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 which added age discrimination to CRA's list of protected groups. The next Congressional effort to eliminate employment discrimination was the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which provided some protection to individuals with disabilities; however, the Rehabilitation Act’s provisions only applied to federal, state and local government employment practices (Kohl & Greenlaw, 1992). The Rehabilitation Act failed to protect American workers with disabilities from employment discrimination. To correct this situation, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 which essentially extended the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act to private sector businesses employing more than 25 full-time employees. The ADA not only prohibited discrimination against the disabled in employment practices, but it also provided disabled Americans with protections against discrimination in public accommodations and other areas (Kohl & Greenlaw, 1992). Congress further expanded ADA protections with the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, a measure which has been criticized by the legal community for increasing businesses’ exposure to litigation (Bleau, 2008). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the primary agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws pertaining to Title I employment discrimination. Individuals must file complaints involving employment discrimination with the EEOC within 180 days of the discrimination. Conciliation is the EEOC’s preferred method of complaint resolution; however, hiring, reinstatement, promotion, back pay, reasonable accommodation and

ADA of 1990

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attorney’s fees are also legal remedies available to the courts. In addition, local, state and federal agencies can enforce the provisions of the act.
Advocates of the ADA have described America’s 43 million disabled workers as an economically disadvantaged group in need of protection from discrimination in employment practices. In spite of government assistance and subsidies, disabled workers earn less as a group than their healthier counterparts. People with disabilities must overcome obstacles while entering the labor market, and have greater challenges after they are employed (DeLeire, 2000). According to the National Council on Disability, Congress was motivated to pass the Act due to the following facts concerning people with disabilities in America: 

historically, society has tended to isolate and segregate individuals with disabilities



individuals with disabilities have no legal recourse to redress such discrimination



individuals with disabilities continually encounter various forms of discrimination



data indicate that individuals with disabilities occupy an inferior status in society



individuals with disabilities have been faced with restrictions, subjected to a history of purposeful unequal treatment, and relegated to a position of powerlessness



continuing existence of unfair and unnecessary discrimination and prejudice denies people with disabilities the opportunity to compete on an equal basis and to pursue opportunities, costing the United States billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses resulting from dependency and non-productivity...
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