July marked the 30th anniversary of one of country’s landmark civil rights laws that sometimes get overlooked, but not if you are a disabled person. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was signed into law that year by President George H.W. Bush on July 26. Its implementation brought sweeping changes.
The ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability. As a result, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to all disabled workers. In addition, the law requires public places be accessible to the disabled. The ADA represented another law in America’s steps toward overcoming workplace discrimination.
Protecting the disabled in the workplace
Many proponents of the ADA consider it one of the most important civil rights legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex. It took a couple decades for the political winds to shift and pave the way for the creation of the ADA.
The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 laid the ADA’s foundation in requiring that every community with a polling place ensure that people who used wheelchairs were able to enter the facilities. Many believed that without that law’s implementation, the ADA may not have surfaced or succeeded.
Despite such federal legislation, workplace discrimination continues to occur. If you are a disabled person facing discrimination in the workplace, take steps to protect yourself. File a complaint and retain an experienced employment attorney. Companies and employers must abide by the ADA. If they do not, they will suffer the legal consequences.