Answers to Questions Frequently asked by Employers
Why Should I Look to People with Disabilities to Fill Vacant Positions in my Company?
People with disabilities represent a target market for recruiting employees that has been largely overlooked. They represent a significant pool of potential applicants who repeatedly get high marks from managers on job-related issues. There are approximately 27 million working age adults with disabilities in the United States. A 2003 National Organization on Disability report indicated that only 32% of this group (age 18 to 64) are working; yet 67% of this group want to work. Approximately 13 million of them are unemployed. 79 percent of those unemployed would like to work, but do not. With the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, businesses must provide equal opportunity and reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. Employers prepared to work effectively with this source of workers will not only be better able to meet the letter and spirit of the law, but will have a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining the most qualified workforce possible.
Is It Expensive to Make Workplace Accommodations for Employees with Disabilities?
Generally, no. In fact, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) reports research shows, in 2006, average cost of workplace accommodations is $600 or less. A March 2003 Work Trends report found 73% of employers reported that workers with disabilities did not require accommodations. From a corporate value viewpoint, employers have reported to JAN that for every dollar spent on accommodations, the company received $28 in benefits.
Employers have traditionally made adjustments in the work place to accommodate the needs of employees. This same flexibility can and should be extended to employees with disabilities. In addition, the Internal Revenue code may provide significant tax deductions to businesses that make their facilities and equipment accessible to persons with disabilities.
Is It Difficult to Supervise Employees with Disabilities?
No more than other employees. A Harris poll found that 82 percent of managers said employees with disabilities were no harder to supervise than employees without disabilities. Employees with disabilities should be held accountable to the same job standards as any other employee. Managers should be confident that their supervisory skills will work equally well with employees with disabilities.
Do Employees with Disabilities Perform as Well as Employees without Disabilities?
According to many employers who hired people with disabilities, these individuals generally are motivated, capable and dependable. Successive studies at DuPont Corp. consistently found that 90 % of employees with disabilities were rated average or better in job performance by their managers. As with all employees, it is important to match abilities, interests and experience with job requirements.
Will Employees with Disabilities Be Absent More than Employees without Disabilities?
No. Studies by firms such as DuPont show that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities.
Do Employees with Disabilities Have Good Safety Records?
Yes. The DuPont survey found that the safety record of employees both with and without disabilities were identical.
What Salary Range is Fair?
Employees with disabilities should receive prevailing wages and benefits, based on productivity and job performance.
Will Hiring People with Disabilities Cause my Workers' Compensation Rates to Rise?
Workers' compensation rates are based upon the relative hazards of the operation and the company's accident experience, not upon the composition of the workforce. Given the excellent safety record of people with disabilities, there is no reason to expect rates to increase. Did you know that by instituting a "Wellness Program" you may qualify for a 5% decrease in your W.C. rates?