ADA and Affirmative Actions, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1102

Essay

Critique of the Americans Disability Act and Affirmative Action utilizing current laws and issues as they relate to California and other states.

The American Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination base on disability in employment, public and local accommodations, commercial facilities, and telecommunications against individuals who has physical or mental impairments that will substantially limit their activities, even by the perception of others, according to the US Department of Justice (2009).

In terms of application and specification, the Act is even applicable in Congress itself that passes it into law in 1990, and auger well for persons with disability, because there are no specific mentions of the type of impairments they may have when facing discrimination, according to the Department of Justice (2009). This latter generalization provides victims of discrimination greater leverage in the filing of their complaints to the EEOC.

Additionally, a major provision under Title 1 of the ADA concerns the time given to complainants to file discrimination charges to the EEOC. 180 days from the time of the discrimination or 300 days if specific charges are being filed from a particular state or through local fair employment agencies, are made available to individuals having evidence that they are the subject of discrimination, according to the Department of Justice (2009).

This timeline also gives these affected persons adequate opportunities to seek appropriate legal counsel, then file their complaints to the EEOC, and be able to receive their right to sue permission, which officially grants them the privilege to file their cases in the Federal courts (Department of Justice, 2009).

A major disadvantage of ADA, in terms of employment is the condition that employers under Title I of the Act has to have a minimum of 15 employees to be able to provide qualified individuals with the disability, equal opportunities to benefit from the full range of employment related opportunities that are available to normal employees (Department of Justice, 2009).

The deduction form this clause is that individuals with disabilities may be qualified for certain jobs in diverse business enterprises, but because of the size limitations with respect to the number of employees, they may not be able gain employment, and this in return may cause the rate of unemployment among these persons to be higher than even the national average.

Private clubs and religious organizations are exempted from discriminating against persons on the basis of their disabilities, according to US Department of Education (2012), but public accommodations such as restaurants, theaters, medical practices, pharmacies, libraries, parks, and private schools among others are mandated to make these persons access their facilities with reasonable ease.

This aspect of the Act should have had no exemptions, especially in the case of religious organizations, because persons with disability should be able to freely enter any place of worship and fulfill their constitutional rights, like other individuals.

California’s disability rights law as it relates to employment, according to California Disability Access (2012), provides protections that are independent from those in the ADA OF 1990, as well as a broader definition of the meaning of disability.

These persons residing in the state also benefit considerable through the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which provides protection from harassment or discrimination in employment as a result of age, color, creed, denial of family and medical leave including AIDS and HIV, religion, origin, sex and sexual orientation, when compare to other states.

Affirmative Actions policies, as they relate to employment and education, affects federal government workers including military personnel, thousands of companies employing between 20 % and 25 % of the nations’ labor force, as well as approximately 16 million students attending US educational institutions, because they tap into the basic question of fairness and justice , according to Crosby and Konrad (2002).

The concept is operable when organizations expends energy to ensure there are no discrimination in education as well as employment within their ranks, by constantly providing at all levels equal opportunities for all employees and students. Efforts to provide such opportunity are seriously challenged, according to noted economist Barbara Bergman, who notes that each year 63,000 complaints are made to the EEOC, and of this only 500 are brought to trial (Crosby and Konrad, 2002).

A major deterrence for the low percentage of cases reaching the courts can be seen by examining their individual cost to organizations, which Crosby and Konrad (2002) contend lies in the region of $100, 000.

In the case of California, the recent US Appeals Court upholding of the state ban on the use of Affirmative Actions in university admission, has forced public schools to discontinue the practice of using gender, race or ethnicity to enroll students into their institutions, according to Levine (2012), and brought back the question on fairness and justice to the table.

Ralph Kasarde, one of the lawyers on the case, remark at the end of the process that the judges’ decision was good news for everyone who values fairness and equal opportunities. A response of this nature seems to be coated with a level of reverse discrimination, but Crosby and Konrad (2002), has countered this, saying that recent research has shown that the concept was not popular among employers and employees, nationally.

Affirmative Actions, despite its opposition in some areas, has being paying a significant role under section 503 of the ADA, with respect to the hiring practice of Federal Contractors having contracts in excess of $10,000, according to the Department of Justice (2009). The AA law prohibits discrimination by federal government contractors as well as self contractors, and provides possible employment opportunities for persons with disabilities who are able to reasonable perform the required tasks related to the jobs in question.

California therefore has made sure it residents benefit more from ADA than in some other states, especially with respect to housing, employment and transportation by providing greater latitude in the definition of individuals that are disable, as well as the range of impairments, but the state is severely challenged to enforce Affirmative Actions, because of the ruling of the court, the cost of each case, and the growing unpopularity of the Act among the student population in general. The trend it seems will continue for some time to come.

 Reference

California Disability Access (2012). Disability Laws and Regulations Retrieved from: http://www.disabilityaccessinfo.ca.gov/lawsregs.htm#fair_employment on 06/25/12

Crosby, F.J., Konrad, A. (2002). Affirmative Action in Employment Diversity Factor Vol. 10 No .2 pp.5-9

Levine, D., (2012). Appeals Court upheld California Affirmative Action ban Reuters News Agency Retrieved from: www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/03/us-usa-education-california-idUSBRE83202R20120403  on 06/25/12

US Department of Education – Office for Civil Rights (2012). Americans with Disabilities Act Retrieved from: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq9805.html , ON 06/25/12

US Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division (2009). A Guide to Disability Rights Laws Retrieved from: www.ada.gov/cguide.htm  on 06/24/12

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