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The Americans With Disabilities Act Impact On Business

1506 words - 7 pages

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that was signed into law by George H. W. Bush is one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation dealing with civil rights today. It was instrumental in protecting the rights of the mentally and physically disabled. The law has made many contributions to America as a country and helped it enter the modern world as a socially diverse nation. It was amended in 2008 by George W. Bush, who continued the work of his father in protecting disabled peoples rights. The specific company that will be the focus of the paper is Stater Bros. Markets. Stater Bros. is the premier supermarket in Southern California and does 3.9 billion in sales annually. The paper will also analyze how this legislation has affected the country and businesses as a whole.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 came about to prevent discrimination against disabled people. The act was designed to overturn some negative Supreme Court decisions that had been made since Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act was passed. Section 504 was the first major legislation to define disabled people as a class. This Act gave wide protections to disabled people as a whole rather than individual disability. However, over the next 15 years the Supreme Court washed many of the protections away. The disabled community worked together to bring public awareness to the issue of discrimination and access to public areas that disabled people faced. After many years and many demonstrations, the disabled community was able to get the public aware of the issue and made it one of the pivotal issues of the presidential campaign in 1988. One of the major contributing factors to its passage was the Capital Crawl that occurred in 1989 when a group of disabled people crawled from the bottom of the capital steps to the top. They inconvenienced many senators and helped ensure the passage of the act.
How the law has impacted (or how will it impact) your corporation?
The ADA act has had broad impacts to all corporations throughout the United States. Requiring them to comply with the parts of the act that provide access for the disabled to public facilities. It has also prevented discrimination against qualified candidates seeking jobs. Stater Bros. Markets has been successfully sued many times since the ADA act came into being. Each of these lawsuits costs the company in around $50,000 for associated attorney’s fees and judgment awards to the plaintiffs. Stater Bros has had to ensure disabled people were provided access to the stores as well as in the corporate office for employees. This has been especially costly for Stater Bros Markets as most of the stores were built before 1990 and are not up to the current 2012 ADA standards. To bring each store up to code it costs on average $60,000 for a total chain wide cost of 10 million dollars. However the biggest problem facing Stater Bros Markets is that some of the very old stores built in the 50’s and 60’s are...

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