HRM Term Paper on ADA

Introduction
On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law with the intent to make the American workplace more accessible to people with disabilities. It was signed by former president George H.W Bush, who said ?I know there may have been concerns that the ADA may be too vague or too costly, or may lead endlessly to litigation. But I want to reassure you right now that my administration and the United States Congress have carefully crafted this Act. We've all been determined to ensure that it gives flexibility, particularly in terms of the timetable of implementation; and we've been committed to containing the costs that may be incurred.... Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. According to the most recent text of the ADA, which was amended in 2008, the definition of disability is ?a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment? (www.ada.gov). This further protects individuals with disabilities in recruitment, screening, hiring, promotions, layoffs and termination, and any other terms or conditions of employment. Private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions are covered in the act. In addition, the ADA applies to all aspects of participation in society, including employment, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications. The ADA prepares employees by providing appropriate information and personnel training on the provisions of the ADA, its relevance to the functioning of the organization as a whole, and the responsibilities of specific personnel. The ADA is also undergoing continuous review and interpretation in the courts. Many people have set themselves up as experts on the ADA. They believe that they are experts on how to remove architectural barriers, how to build a ramp or refit a bathroom to comply with ADA standards. Unfortunately in too many cases, the so-called experts do not know about the ADA standards and their errors have been costly to people who relied on their help. There are no certificates or licenses for the ADA and those who claim that they are certified or licensed ADA experts are not telling the truth. The best advice is to consult your local Center for Independent Living and use reputable architects and builders who are familiar with ADA architectural standards and requirements. This is the best way to prevent a costly and lengthy lawsuit.
Brief History
The ADA is the most comprehensive federal civil rights legislation protecting the rights of people with disabilities. Passed by the United States Congress in 1990, the ADA addresses the barriers and discrimination that people with disabilities have traditionally faced. The legislature covers access to employment, state and local government programs and services, access to places of public accommodations, transportation, non-profits service providers and telecommunications. The ADA has been amended several times since its passage in 1990, with the most recent amendment in 2008, which became effective on January 1st, 2009.
Purpose of the ADA
The purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act is ?to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities; to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities; to ensure that the Federal Government plays a central role in enforcing the standards established on behalf of individuals with disabilities; and to invoke the sweep of congressional authority, including the power to enforce the fourteenth amendment and to regulate commerce, in order to address the major areas of discrimination faced day-to-day by people with disabilities.? (www.ada.gov/pubs)