Q: We are about to hire our 15th employee. I heard that some federal regulations go into effect then. What do I need to know about these?
A: Once you have 15 employees, here are some federal laws that will apply to your organization:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Protects qualified individuals with disabilities from unlawful employment discrimination, prohibits discrimination where an individual is able to perform their essential job functions, and requires an employer to make reasonable accommodations for disabled individuals unless doing so would place an undue hardship on the employer.
- Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA): Prohibits the use of genetic information in employment and restricts employers from requesting or requiring genetic information.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA): Protects pregnant employees from being retaliated against in any way due to pregnancy, childbirth, or any related medical conditions.
- Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act: Prohibits discrimination in all terms and conditions of employment (including pay and benefits) on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. Note that several federal courts have ruled that sex includes sexual orientation, and one has ruled that it includes gender identity as well.
Remember, there may also be additional state laws that apply as your company grows.
If you own a business, manage a nonprofit, or are a hiring manager, chances are some of your employees or prospective employees are dealing with disabilities. It’s critical for all employers to understand their requirements and their rights under the Americans with Disabilites Act (ADA). Download this free guide that will help you have a better grasp of how to comply with the ADA.