Equal Employment Opportunity

ADA doesn’t only address accessibility in the marketplace but also in the labor market. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 expands protections for individuals with disabilities in the workplace. According to a report issued last year by the American Association of People with Disabilities, only 20.6 percent of individuals with disabilities participate in the labor force compared to 69.4 percent of people without disabilities. When interviewing and hiring employees with disabilities, hoteliers should provide reasonable accommodations for the interview (if needed), focus on essential functions of the job, and determine if the candidate is qualified to complete those functions, says Marian Vessels, director of the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, TransCen Inc. “Candidates may need accommodations or simply may do the job differently. Discuss disability-related issues only after a conditional offer of employment has been made, and be prepared to engage in the interactive process for reasonable accommodations.”

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