ADA Compliance Attorney in Akron, Ohio

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was enacted to protect job applicants and employees from being discriminated against because of a real or perceived disability. The law covers employers with 15 or more employees and applies to all private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions.

Enforcement of the ADA falls primarily under the purview of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which can investigate complaints, impose sanctions, and even file lawsuits against employers. Employees or job applicants who feel they have been discriminated against must first file a complaint with the EEOC and wait to receive what is known as a "right to sue" notice before initiating a lawsuit on their own.

If you feel you have been subjected to an ADA violation as a job applicant or employee in or around Akron, Ohio, contact the Law Offices of F. Benjamin Riek III immediately. Attorney F. Benjamin Riek III previously worked for the U.S. Department of Labor and is now dedicated to protecting the rights of workers. He will review the situation and then advise and guide you on the steps to take to rectify the situation or obtain compensation for any losses you suffered.

The Law Offices of F. Benjamin Riek III proudly serve the hardworking people of Hudson, Canton, Lorain, and Cleveland, Ohio.

What Is the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), briefly defined above, was augmented and invigorated in 2008 with the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA). The ADAAA was a response to court decisions that limited some rights of disabled individuals.

According to the EEOC, the ADAAA "emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA and generally shall not require extensive analysis."

What Qualifies a Person for ADA Protections?

The primary definition of a disability under the ADA is having a "physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities," or having a record of such impairment. The ADA also protects those who are "regarded" as having a disability and because of that perception, are discriminated against at work or as a job applicant.

Reasonable Accommodations

The ADA also provides that employees who need assistance in performing their duties can request what is called a "reasonable accommodation." Reasonable accommodations often involve physical rearrangements of workspaces, better access routes, computer assistance devices, and more.

The employer is obliged to engage in an "interactive process" with an employee who requests an accommodation but does not have to provide the accommodation if it poses an "undue hardship." The EEOC, if it receives a complaint of a reasonable accommodable being denied out of hand, can investigate and force the employer to provide the assistance needed.

Workplace and Website Accessibility Under the ADA

The ADA has several sections to it - called Titles - and some of these sections impose accessibility standards. For instance, a building that is open to the public must provide a way for the disabled to access the structure. This generally means the construction of a ramp.

The ADA also suggests that businesses open to the public should ensure their websites are accessible to disabled individuals. Some of the accessibility recommendations include the use of captions on videos, the use of "alt text" on images, the avoidance of using color only to provide information, and making sure that the site can be navigated both by mouse and keyboard.

The ADA originally extended website accessibility requirements just to institutions that offered public accommodations, but through the years, the list of affected businesses has expanded through court decisions and Department of Justice (DOJ) recommendations.

ADA Compliance Attorney Serving Akron, Ohio

Once you have been subjected to discrimination at work because of a disability, you have 180 days to file a charge with the EEOC, and you need to act quickly. If you're in Akron, Ohio, contact the employment law and ADA compliance attorney at the Law Offices of F. Benjamin Riek III. With more than four decades of experience in protecting workers' rights, Attorney F. Benjamin Riek III can provide reliable legal assistance.