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Americans With Disabilities Act

Essay by   •  March 4, 2011  •  1,105 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,606 Views

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The Americans with Disabilities Act it prohibits discrimination in recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment. The employer is also required to make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities, unless it results in undue hardship. Ms. Smith's hearing -impaired disability was known to Shop Here when she was hired. Both Ms. Smith and Shop Here also understood that there would be a need for an interpreter for certain meetings, including training sessions. The nature of dialogue between Ms. Smith and anyone was obvious due to her disability and should not have needed any further discussion about the need for reasonable accommodation per the Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although, her supervisor suggested another co-worker to "finger spell" for Ms. Smith, this was not a reasonable accommodation, as "finger spelling" is much different from having an interpreter. Ms. Smith requests for an interpreter was denied on several occasions. Per the Enforcement Guidance an employer should respond expeditiously to a request for reasonable accommodation. The employer should also act promptly to provide the reasonable accommodation. Shop Here was in violation of the ADA by not responding "expeditiously" to Ms. Smith's request. The transfer of Ms. Smith was also in violation of the ADA. Ms. Smith was able to perform the duties of her job but not the training session. She was transfer before willing to help with the request to have an interpreter. Ms Smith was fired as a result of not accepting the transfer of a job this is also in violation of the ADA as a transfer can only be requested if the disable employee can not perform the functions of their original job. This is not the case for Ms. Smith.

A defense for Shop Here maybe that although Ms. Smith was required to accept a position in the maintenance department performing janitorial duties; her salary did not changed. Ms. Smith also left a mandatory training session without making a request for reasonable accommodations. Shop Here could consider the cost of an interpreter every time there is a need to have a meeting, training session, or other company related activity Ms. Smith will be required to attend. This could be considered an undue hardship on Shop Here.

Ms. Smith, in the case Smith v Shop Here; definitely suffered retaliation under the definition of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The retaliation started with the realization by Shop Here that she would need an interpreter for training sessions and meetings. The initial retaliation was during a training class when she refused a 'finger spell" interpreter for a training class. This form of interpretation cannot be considered a reasonable accommodation and Ms. Smiths' response to tolerate this service was reasonable under the circumstances. As a result of her refusal, she was transferred to the maintenance department to perform janitorial duties. Further, attempts by Ms. Smith for an interpreter to discuss her transfer were refused. The accusation that she was refusing to perform her job was used as an excuse to justify punishing her for the continued need for interpreter services. The retaliation was continued with the refusal to provide an interpreter during the meeting with the supervisor and store manager. The store manager and supervisor decided to communicate with her by written note. Ms. Smith insisted on an interpreter and was continually denied access with the excuse that they were expensive, costing $45.00 per hour. All attempts at establishing reasonable communication avenues by Ms. Smith were met with staunch denials and subsequent punishments including a transfer to a "dead end" position as well as unsubstantiated accusations of insubordination and refusal to perform her job. The final act of retaliation was Ms. Smiths' termination from Shop Here. Shop Here, upon realizing the expense and accommodation required to meet the needs of her disability became inconvenient, expensive and undesirable for the store, resulting in retaliatory tactics in a deliberate attempt to either force Ms. Smith to resign or terminate her to eliminate the special needs she required.

With the aforementioned actions in mind, compensatory damages are a realistic and necessary compensation for the actions suffered by Ms. Smith by the supervisory staff of Shop Here according to the provisions of the

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