Last week marked the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, National Public Radio reported that those with disabilities are twice as likely to experience poverty, in part because barriers to employment persist. The Department of Justice (DOJ) actively enforces the ADA to ensure that failure to comply with the law does not contribute to such barriers.
For example, last week DOJ settled a case against the University of Michigan for alleged discrimination against two disabled employees by failing to provide them with reasonable accommodations in violation of Title I of the ADA. Instead of reassigning the employees to available, vacant positions for which the employees qualified, the University required the employees to compete with other applicants for the vacancies.
Pursuant to the settlement, in addition to paying the two employees $215,000, the University must revise its policies on reassignment and transfer, provide ADA training to staff and file periodic reports with the Department of Justice.
The enforcement action against the University of Michigan demonstrates that combatting discrimination remains a priority for DOJ.
Lara Nochomovitz is responsible for the contents of this Short Take.
© Jackson Kelly PLLC 2015