In April 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order meant to strengthen the Buy American Act. This new order supports efforts to buy American products and supplies when possible and to hire American workers when possible. This rule could have a tremendous impact on employers, especially those who work with the federal government, but how much of an effect this will have is not yet clear.
Most employers are aware of the responsibility to treat their employees fairly, but did you know that the rules also extend to the interview and hiring process? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released its updated Strategic Enforcement Plan. One of the stated national priorities is to increase enforcement efforts related to hiring practices that conflict with ADA rules. As an employer in Florida, you must have a solid grasp of the anti-discrimination laws laid out by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Failure to comply, whether intentional or not, can land you in hot water and cause a multitude of unnecessary headaches. What You Need to Know
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act states that qualified applicants with disabilities must be provided with reasonable accommodations during the pre-employment interview and screening process. Employers are provided with limited protection under the caveat "except when such accommodation would cause an undue hardship." In simple terms, a disability that limits a potential employee's ability to perform ancillary job functions must not exclude him from the opportunity for employment as long as she is qualified to perform the essential functions of the position. For example, if a grocery store cashier with chronic fatigue syndrome needs to have access to a stool so that she can sit while working, the employer must provide this accommodation. This extends to the hiring process in many ways. Examples may include providing an interpreter for a hearing-impaired applicant, offering alternatives for pre-employment testing, or allowing different methods of submitting to a required drug test.