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Americans With Disabilities Act for Small Business

A Restaurant Business

The research paper uses a restaurant business as a case example of a small business. The business will deal with the provision of services to all kinds of customers. It will offer a variety of services to customers ranging from drinks and beverages, meals, and entertainment among many other services. Market forces and the levels of income at disposal are the guides in choosing the business. Location is very important in a business. Before setting up any business, the survey must be carried out to determine whether the location has enough potential customers. Location may promote a business or may lead the business to incur losses because of a lack of enough customers to purchase services that are offered. Therefore, the location of my business will be in my nearest town. I believe that the target clients in the town are substantial. Therefore, setting up this business in the town will enable the business to grow because of the expected high sales. Another physical requirement that will be looked at in deciding on the location is the number of fees that are charged. Some buildings may be charging high amounts of rental fees within my rich.

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Therefore, this will be factored in when looking for the best position to set up my business. Therefore, the rental fees will also determine the location. I will rent a building that is within my financial means in a place that has enough customers. Another factor is the environment. The environment within which my business will operate needs to be clean and free from any pollution because the business is dealing with food and food products. Therefore, health standards need to be at par rhyming with the requirements of the government. A business dealing with restaurants is required to operate in a cleaner environment. Otherwise, it will face closure by public health authorities. Furthermore, like my business, I may not get enough clients because of the poor status of health and environmental cleanliness, which will be detrimental to my survival. Employees form an important part of an organization, as they are the determinants as to whether the business succeeds or fails. In a start-up business like mine, I will require an average of 15 employees to carry out the duties of my business because the business involves various services.

It will require many waiters and cooks to ensure that the operations run smoothly. One manager will be assigned to manage the activities of restaurants to ensure that every department in the restaurant carries out its duties with due diligence and zeal. Employees will have to be skilled besides possessing experience in catering. Customers are equally important: they are the bosses who determine whether the business succeeds or not. My target customers will be middle average customers working within the town where the business will be set. Customers will not be restricted to the middle-level income. Any other client or customer is welcome. He/she will be served in the restaurant. The business will deal in food products. It will provide a variety of foods to the customers. The favorite foods that are popular among the target customers will include foods such as meat stew, chicken, and soup among many others. The business will also offer beverages and soft drinks to its clients. Others will include entertainment services to its clients. Most people love to watch football. Therefore, customers will enjoy 24 super sport channels.

History of ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an important act in America. Any business, whether small or big, should be aware of its requirements. The act “provides civil rights with the authority to protect those individuals in the society with various disabilities” (U.S Department of Education Para. 2). Therefore, the act guarantees equal treatment for all people by providing equal opportunities for disabled people in terms of accessibility to employment, transportation, public accommodation, state and local government, and telecommunications. The history of the Americans with disability act (ADA) dates back to the activities of the civil rights movements in the 1960s that agitated for equal treatment of people from all races, ethnic backgrounds, and religions. During this time, the focus was majorly on racial discrimination that was a problem in America. When the federal government got involved in issues of racial discrimination, the advocates of disabled people demanded respect for their rights as disabled people. This quest began to bear fruits in 1988 when “a Fair House Act was amended that included families with children and people with disabilities being among the persons that were to be covered with the act” (U.S Department of Education Para. 2).

The rehabilitation act of 1973 prohibited any form of discrimination against any person with a disability by anybody who provided federal service. However, this act did not cover discrimination by a public accommodation, employers, and private and publicly funded programs. Congress passed the Americans With Disabilities Act on January 23, 1990, which required that individuals with disabilities be not discriminated against (U.S Department of Education Para. 4). The then-president George Bush signed the act. It was a comprehensive bill that sought to protect all categories of disabilities that affected people. Major reasons that led to the signing or enactment of this act were the increased rate of discrimination by the society on people who had disabilities besides the ever-increasing number of people who had disabilities. Further discrimination in the areas of employment and accessibility to public facilities and services was also rampant. Therefore, the bill was aimed at eradicating the social injustices that continued to stigmatize and seclude people with disabilities. The act defines people with disabilities as individuals who have a mental and physical impairment that may limit an individual to engage in more life activities or a person who has had a record of such impairments.

This act used to cover employers having more than 25 employees. However, changes in the act have narrowed down to 15 employers. It applies to both labor organizations and employment agencies that include both the local and state employees. Federal sector employees are also covered under the rehabilitation act of section 501 as amended. The act is enshrined in equal employment commission opportunity. All employers are required to adhere to it. The act has also undergone some changes since it was signed into law in 1990. For instance, the number of employees reduced from 25 to 15 employees. The changes came into effect in July 1994. On July 26, 1992, the law required that all businesses that served the public were to modify their policies and practices to ensure that they did not discriminate against the disabled people of the society (U.S Department of Education Para. 4). Therefore, they had to redesign their standards such as adjusting their constructions to be friendly to the disabled besides removing any barriers that locked out the disabled people from gaining meaningful employment. Furthermore, they were required to put in place or eliminate any barrier that barred them from realizing or ensuring effective communication between them and people with disabilities.

Issues that I need to be aware of concerning ADA

As the owner of a small business operating in the USA, knowledge of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) is paramount to ensure that any laws targeting disabled people are not contravened. It is also important to ensure that, before proceeding to implement any decisions or measures in the organization, various regulations have been established under the (ADA) act, which should be considered in any operation of the small business. Disabled people have every right as the other people in the larger community to access any services that are provided by public entities and private organizations. Therefore, I will ensure that I comply with all these (ADA) regulations. To comply with the regulations, I will ensure that I do not discriminate the disabled people in my hiring process. I will receive and scrutinize all applications with all the shortlisted individuals being required to proceed on to the next stage. The qualification threshold will not be the same for the employees because they will perform different duties. For instance, the employees required to manage the function of the restaurants will have higher academic qualifications compared to those working as waiters and cooks. Therefore, the recruitment process will not disqualify any disabled person.

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All the positions will be open for any candidate who believes that he/she has the required competence and capability to execute the tasks to be assigned. However, in circumstances that some candidates do not meet the threshold of reasonable accommodations, they will not be considered because they would cause undue hardship to the small business. One of the factors that may lead to the disqualification of disabled candidates is the financial implications that they bring or cause to the business. For instance, a blind cook will not be eligible in the business because he may not be in a position to offer good services. Such a person will cause financial implications to the business because he may not add any value to the business. Secondly is that the total cost of accommodating such a person is high, which may stretch the squeezed financial resources that are available in the business. Thirdly, the size of the business entity is not yet big to accommodate or bear the costs that are related to their upkeep. Persons with disabilities have the same rights as those that are not disabled. They have the potential of triggering a positive change in organizations because they have the skills and knowledge to carry out certain issues and tasks. Therefore, they need to be accommodated in the various employment vacancies. In my case, the opportunity will be open to all people who wish to apply.

For instance, in the position of a manager, a person with a disability having relevant skills and competencies in the area of management can cling to the position regardless of the disability provided the individual is competent enough to carry out the duties that are assigned to him/her. Disabled people will be accommodated in the business by making slight adjustments in the facilities in the restaurant. For instance, when looking for a location to set up the business, I will look for a building that is easily accessible and friendly to persons with a physical disability. One of the considerations will be choosing a venue that is on the ground floor that does not require people to move upstairs. However, if the location is upstairs, the building needs to be friendly to disabled people. This will enable such people to come to the restaurant without any problems. Furthermore, some employees that may be having various forms of disabilities will be provided with a modified working schedule to ensure that they do not overwork or be overwhelmed with work. Such flexibilities will allow such employees to enjoy their work besides feeling appreciated. Jobs will be restructured to ensure that such employees are accommodated in a bid to make them feel part of the larger workforce.

In some instances, employees will be trained with training materials being provided to them to teach them various issues they need to adjust to be able to execute their services by the objectives and vision of the business. Furthermore, in my business, during the hiring processes, no medical inquiries and examinations will be required on employees. However, these examinations and inquiries will be carried out to all applicants if the need arises. Applicants will only be asked questions based on their ability to execute their jobs. In case a medical examination is required, it will be done consistent with the business needs. For this case, a medical examination to be carried out on employees is aimed at determining their health conditions to meet the standards set by the department of health in the federal government. Any medical records received from all applicants will remain confidential, and will not be passed to third parties to ensure that no information of my employees, whether disabled or not, is not transmitted to the third party without the consent of the owner of the information. Disabled people have the right to privacy. Therefore, under my business, the information of such people or employees will always remain confidential. I will ensure that these regulations are observed by getting involved in the recruitment process. I will also look for the best building that is friendly to people with disabilities to ensure that they can use the facilities without any problem.

Other ADA issues that may arise

As the business expands, many other issues will arise that require the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) to come into play. The number of employees will increase. The locations will increase to accommodate many customers in various areas. In all locations, I will inspect and adjust all buildings to make them friendly to people with disabilities. For instance, special entrance points and tables will be reserved for people with disabilities to encourage such people to visit my restaurants for their meals and drinks. Another issue that will be looked into is the hiring process. This process will not lock out any individual based on their disabilities. Rather, it will be based on the capability and abilities of the individual to execute their tasks. Furthermore, when the level of business revenue surpasses million US dollars or record more than 30 employees, I will take a tax credit of up to 5000 US dollars that may be used to cater for the accommodation of such people.

This money will be used in the provision of important equipment for the disabled such as spectacles and wheelchairs. This provision is found in the “small business tax credit under the internal revenue code section 44: disabled access credit” (Cross and Miller 24). In addition, I will redesign the working schedules for employees who are disabled to enable them to perform their tasks well. For instance, I will introduce flextime whereby such employees will have to decide the time they would like to be given an off. This will help such employees to be motivated to work hard towards the achievement of the organizational goals. Furthermore, they will be assigned duties that they can best handle with ease and without strain. Disability is not inability. Some of these employees have the potential of even working more towards increasing the productivity of the organization compared to the normal employees. They just need understanding and respect to enable them to work towards the goals of the organization. Obtaining information about Americans with disabilities (ADA) before starting the business will be of great importance to me because it will allow me to acquaint myself with the requirements and regulations of the act. I will therefore take decisive decisions in my future business ventures, as I will be fully equipped with what is required in the operation of the business. This will also enable me to avoid being convicted in the court of law for bridging the laws.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) is a good act that has allowed disabled people to be respected, as they are accorded their rights as other members of the community. The government of the US did a positive thing in passing the bill that has seen many thousands of disabled Americans absorbed in various job positions besides being received well by other members of the community. Before the enactment of the law, many disabled people were mistreated and denied their constitutional rights. They were locked out of employment even if they had skills and knowledge in the various disciplines. This influenced their lives negatively. However, with the laws, employees have no other than considering them in all aspects of their employment plans besides respecting and taking them as other fellow human beings. The famous phrase that disability is not inability has been proved on various occasions. Many people with disabilities across the world have done wonders. Therefore, the government must work hand in hand with various institutions to ensure that all forms of discrimination against disabilities are handled accordingly. In the case of my small business, putting in mind all the requirements of disabled people is mandatory. For instance, ensuring equal employment opportunities to all employees, provision of materials to train the disabled, and adjusting the equipment and infrastructure to accommodate the disabled are the things that I will have to do. To ensure that there is equality, it is mandatory to ensure that all members of the society have equal opportunities besides being treated humanely. Disabled people are part of the larger community who should be treated like other people.

Works Cited

Cross, Frank, and Roger Miller. Study Guide for the Legal Environment of Business. London: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.

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U.S Department of Education. Office for civil rights: Americans with Disabilities Act, 2012. Web.

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