Employment Law(s): Part Uno

With the start of the fiscal year fast approaching, you may be budgeting to add additional staff to your workforce.   As an employer you are not only inundated with day-to-day operations but also legal compliance - red tape.  Below are a few federal employment law(s) you may want to keep in mind while addressing issues with your present and future staff:

American with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) prohibit employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against applicants and individuals with disabilities. These laws require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees who are qualified for a job, with or without reasonable accommodations, so that they may perform the essential job duties of the position. Congress intended that these laws would have a wide reach, and courts have interpreted them broadly. Employer compliance focuses on finding reasonable accommodation through an interactive process with the employee or applicant. This policy, with an emphasis on company safety standards, describes an approach to compliance but does not include specific procedures for pre- and post-offer medical inquiries or examinations, determinations of protected status, or requests for reasonable accommodations.

The Act covers individuals who have a disability defined as:

  • Having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life functions
  • Having a record of such impairment
  • Regarded or treated as having an impairment


Title VII – Civil Right Act

Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment.  Under this Act it is unlawful employment practice for an employer to:

1.     Fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or

2.     Limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

NOTE: Employers covered by this act have 15 or more employees.


Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

This act was passed to protect employees against abuses in the administration of benefit plans. Any pension and retirement programs that your company offers must include safeguards to ensure that employees receive what they are entitled to. It prohibits discrimination within plans in favor of highly paid employees.