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New Tool Helps Small Businesses Understand Disability Laws

When it comes to having a workplace welcoming of all qualified individuals, most business owners want to do the right thing. But understanding responsibilities under nondiscrimination laws and regulations can be daunting, especially for small businesses without dedicated human resource or legal functions.

Fortunately, a new tool makes understanding disability nondiscrimination laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a lot easier. The online Disability Nondiscrimination Law Advisor helps employers of all sizes quickly determine which federal disability nondiscrimination laws apply to their business and their responsibilities under them.

To do this, the Advisor asks a few relevant questions, such as nature of business, size of staff and whether the business receives federal funds. Based on responses provided, it then generates a customized list of federal disability nondiscrimination laws that likely apply, along with easy-to-understand information about their requirements.

The Advisor can also help employees, job applicants, and people applying for or participating in federally funded programs learn more about their rights and responsibilities. In addition, it includes a Guide on Employing People with Disabilities that outlines resources available to help employers comply with disability nondiscrimination laws while also achieving their hiring and productivity goals.

The Disability Nondiscrimination Advisor is one of a series of elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors developed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to help employers and employees understand federal employment laws. To access it, visit the elaws Web site.

For free consulting services and resources to support the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities, contact the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) at 866-EARN-NOW (866-327-6669) (Voice/TTY). For free guidance on workplace accommodations, the ADA and related legislation, contact the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) at 800-526-7234 (Voice), 877-781-9403 (TTY). To learn more about DOL's efforts to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities, visit the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Web site.

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