American Disability Act (ADA)
The ADA took a bold step in legally and constitutionally harmonizing the American society and logically ridding it of discriminative practices that have often been thrown at disabled people primarily due to their relative incapacitations and presumed inefficiencies in the workplace. The law offers disabled persons equal rights and protections in every segment of the American public space (Acemoglu & Angrist, 2001; Hotchkiss, 2004). It would be said that the ratification of the law and the follow up of the 2008 amendment (Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act) strove and still strives towards an equal society where Americans would be appraised based on their abilities rather than their disabilities (ADA National Network, n.d.). The amendment sought to widen the definition of what constitutes a disability and therefore provide more comprehensive protections to Americans deemed disabled.
The ADA has significantly benefited disabled persons by opening up doors of employment in an environment that has often been presumed unfit for disabled persons. Disabled persons can now have the confidence to look for employment (Hotchkiss, 2004). While on the job, thy now have little concerns about segregation or “special” treatment. Employers are required by law to exercise equality and protection of the rights of disabled employees. Therefore disabled persons are not only eligible for employment, they are also protected within their workplaces. Additionally, businesses and organizations that employ disabled persons and boost their career development have benefited from loyal and hardworking employees, tax benefits, and an improved image (Joseph, n.d.; Mack, n.d.; Owen, 2012).
However, from a different perspective, other analysts would agree that the ADA has negatively impacted the workplace. The first concern is that the absorption of disabled persons in the workplace has demanded that employers incorporate or entirely reconfigure into their physical working environment special additions to particular areas such as staircases and restrooms. Employers complying with the ADA complain of additional costs that impact their performance (Acemoglu & Angrist, 2001; Mack). Other drawbacks of the law include the widening of the descriptions defining “disability”, a scenario that has severely hurt the employment chances of evidently disabled persons (Hotchkiss, 2004).
Walmart & Kroger
Walmart and Kroger have cultivated the reputation of being some of the most pronounced employers keen on employing and furthering the careers of disabled persons. One is more likely to meet a disabled persons in the frontlines of both Walmart and Kroger since both employees believe in equal employment. In fact, annual Employer of the Year award issued by the Ohio Governor's Council on People with Disabilities went to Kroger for its deliberate employment of disabled persons and adopting career development opportunities specifically tailored for its disabled employees. However, according to Wachsler (n.d.) the requirement by the law has not fully addressed overt issues such as low wages and health insurance, two issues which are some of the commonest disabled employees face. Walmart and Kroger seem to comply but do not implement their compliance in a more comprehensive way. The law renders the relationship between disabled persons and their employers more complicated than with non-disabled persons.
Acemoglu, D., & Angrist, J. D. (2001). Consequences of employment protection? The case of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Journal of Political Economy, 109(5), 915-957.
ADA National Network. (n.d.). What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Retrieved from https://adata.org/learn-about-ada
Hotchkiss, J. L. (2004). A closer look at the employment impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Journal of Human Resources, 39(4), 887-911.
Joseph, C. (n.d.). The Advantages of Hiring Disabled People in a Company. Small Business Chron. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-hiring-disabled-people-company-11233.html
Mack, J. (n.d.). Pros and Cons of the American Disability Act. Retrieved from https://peopleof.oureverydaylife.com/pros-cons-american-disability-act-8126.html
Owen, J. (2012, May 12). The Benefits of Disability in the Workplace. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/judyowen/2012/05/12/a-cost-benefit-analysis-of-disability-in-the-workplace/2/#62feed653fd2
Wachsler, S. (n.d.). Disabled Mainer Speaks about Working at Walmart. Retrieved from https://abilitymaine.org/disabledwalmart.html