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Handicap employee

Table of contents:

1. Who are handicap people as employees?

2. The Americans with Disabilities Act

3. Socio-moral and legal factors of employing handicapped employees.

4. Conclusion

1. Who are handicap people as employees?

Contemporary society has faced a lot of issues one of which is the peculiarity of employing handicapped people. It goes without saying that handicapped people nowadays are no longer a target of employment discrimination. This is primarily due to the fact that they have a constitutional right to live and to work as any other citizen of the country. According to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a handicapped person is an individual who “has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of the person’s major life activities”. Also, in order to be to be considered officially handicap an individual must have a record of impairment. In order to carry out a corresponding life handicap people need to have an income source. At the same time employers always need work force and some jobs do not seem quiet appealing for people with adequate abilities. This is what makes handicapped people a stable employment resource.
It goes without saying that handicapped employees have both strength and limitations. There are three large groups of handicapped people based on the nature of the impairment: physically handicap, mentally retarded and mentally restored people. The focus-group of the employers is physically handicapped people as they are the most available handicapped employees. As a work force source handicap people do have some strength which may seem appealing to the employer. First of all the quality of performance of handicap people is sufficiently qualified due to the high motivation of handicap workers. They really appreciate the opportunity to work and to earn therefore they also demonstrate accurate attendance and persistence. Nevertheless, it is very important to remember that each disability has specific limitations and vocational implications. For instance, the vocational implications for mentally restored people include the absence of pressure and tension. Mentally retarded individuals cannot fulfill complicated instructions or demonstrate impressive speed of work. As for physical impairments, it is necessary to say that the vocational implications depend of the type of the person’s disability. Handicap employees tend to try harder than non-handicap ones. This is primarily due to the fact that they have a rather hard time finding a job and especially a job that corresponds to their unique abilities. The examples of non-handicap employees only stimulate the handicap ones to perform better both in quantity and in quality as they want to prove that they are none the worse.
2. The Americans with Disabilities Act
The process of employment of handicap people and their position within any firm is restricted by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Its major aim is to protect handicap individuals from discrimination from the side of labor unions and employment agencies. The Act controls the accuracy of job application procedures for disabled people and makes sure the employer provides a disabled worker with the non-handicap employment privileges. The employer cannot refuse to hire a qualified handicap applicant without reasonable legal explanation. Also, the employers must provide disabled employees with all necessary and easily accessible accommodations. Along with non-disabled people handicap people must have the opportunity to attend training programs and have a professional interpreter for better communication with the governing body. Nevertheless, the disabled employee must be able to follow the quality standards of the company. The employer will not indulge the handicap- employee but will provide all necessary accommodations for the adequate performance of the disabled person.
The Act gives the employer the possibility to ask about the individual’s disability and to investigate it only if it refers to some functions performed at work. Nevertheless, the employer cannot demand a medical examination of a handicap applicant it medical examination is not a compulsory term for all the company applicants. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulates the fulfillment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although, the Act has brought a lot of positive shifts in the issues of handicap employment, there is an issue that it has not covered. This issue has to deal with handicap people suing companies and employers for minor violations of the Act in order to obtain financial reward. Basically, some people simply use their disability to realize a profit. These legal risks are the subject of a lot of arguments and the reason some employer simply avoid having handicap employees. The Act summarizes all the accommodations required for the well-being and effective work of handicap people even including proper transportation. Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act maintains the non-discriminating character of any relations among an employer and a handicap employee. It provides employment opportunities for those disabled people who actually qualify for a given job.
3. Socio-moral and legal factors of employing handicapped employees.
Employing a handicap employee does not necessarily imply severe complication for the employer. Absence of any attitudinal barriers is the best condition under which the interrelation of the employer and the employee can actually take place in an adequate way. For instance, the fact that the employee is deaf does not mean that his intellectual level is low. The main criteria of good “habitat” for disabled people is the fairness of opportunities for both handicap and non-handicap individuals. The fact that a handicap person can bring the company the same or even a bigger profit than a non-disabled employee should be taken as a norm and should eliminate all the stereotypes.
The fact that handicapped people have the opportunity to find a job is their constitutional and human right. As a part of the community, handicapped people can make their contribution to its development and advancement. At the same time the community can benefit from having handicapped workers as they tend to show better performance as compared to the non-disabled workers of the same company. The fact that a company hires a disabled person shows the level of moral development of the society in general and the community itself in particular. Equal employment opportunities for both disabled and non-disabled individuals are guarantees of high level social community satisfaction. This is the pre-condition of proper treatment for handicapped people applying for a job. The only criteria of evaluation of the handicap person should be based solely on his ability to perform the job. Otherwise the socio-moral principles of equal rights will become invalid. The basic legal regulator of all the rights and responsibilities of the handicapped people as it has been mentioned above is the Americans with Disabilities Act. It prevents the employers from discriminating the handicapped applicant. It goes without saying that the employer has to make some adjustment in order to make the process of work of a disabled person as effective as it is possible.
4. Conclusion
The appropriate employment of the handicap part of the population is extremely important for many reasons. First of all, handicapped people are often excellent employees as they do really appreciate the opportunity to work and therefore have high motivation as compared to the non-disabled ones. The suicide rate of the disabled people decreases with the increase of their employment. They feel important at their work place and they feel important for their community therefore it raises the psychological health of the population. If the disabled individual qualifies for the job the society benefits from this employee. Very often the positions they apply for are not so appealing for a non-handicap people therefore this converts the handicap employees into a very strong unit of the whole employment system. Hiring handicap employees is not an obligation but it can bring a lot of benefits the employer might have never thought of.


1. Switzer, Jacqueline V. “Disabled Rights: American Disability Policy and the Fight for Equality.” Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2003.

2. Acemoglu, Daron & Angrist, Joshua D. “Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act”. Journal of Political Economy. volume 109 (2001), pages 915–957.

3. Schapire, Julie A; Berger, Florence. “Responsibilities and Benefits in Hiring the Handicapped”. Cornell University Press. 24.4(1984) 59-67.


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