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Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Americans with Disabilities Act

The ‘Americans with Disabilities Act’ (ADA) is noteworthy legislation that was ratified to avert discrimination against disabled Americans. The Act was instituted to provide equal opportunities to disabled individuals. In addition, the implementation of the Act was meant for the provision of unbiased access to public accommodation, services, and activities that are managed by government entities.

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However, the implementation of the Act has raised controversial debates amongst the American courts. Whether the Act compliments or infringes the constitutional provisions is a question that has remained unanswered. Nonetheless, there is a need to protect the welfare of handicapped Americans in an attempt to enable them to realize their importance in society. This essay provides an insight into the nature of job design that is applied by criminal justice agencies. It also explains how the agencies use the Act to accommodate disabled persons in American organizations.

Explanation of Job design in the Criminal Justice Agencies and how such Agencies use the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in making Accommodation for Disabled Employees

The ADA provides American employers with a flexible framework that enables them to avail sensible accommodation to individuals with a disability. Such accommodation is necessary for the improvement of the abilities of handicapped people. Handicapped individuals necessitate the need for special building designs that encompass a multitude of features to allow free movement within the structures (Gold, 2011).

The law requires organizations to increase the accessibility of facilities to improve the convenience of disabled people. For instance, the Act holds that modern constructions should have wheelchair pathways and elevators to ease the mobility of disabled persons. Therefore, the provisions of the Act have become a crucial requirement for both public and private agencies. Consequently, organizations must abide by the mandates that are described in the Act. The Act also offers legal support to individuals who have previously encountered discrimination due to their state of disability. Similarly, the law protects them against future instances of discrimination.

The enactment of the Act has altered many organizational aspects in matters that pertain to criminal justice (Taube & Olkin, 2011). Nowadays, disabled persons have gained accessibility to employment positions within the criminal justice system. Consequently, the various departments of an organization should consider factors such as mobility and ease of access to provide convenient accommodation to disabled individuals. Employers should consider the intellectual capacity and experience of disabled individuals to justify their suitability for various organizational positions. With proper accommodation facilities, the presentation of satisfactory credentials should allow a disabled person to contest for any eligible job positions without undesirable discernment.

However, the enactment of the law does not preclude employers from using professional selection strategies to recruit their workforce. Indeed, they have the mandate to establish carnal or psychosomatic experiences that are necessary to perform specific jobs. For instance, the availability of job opportunities in sectors such as transportation and construction industries, security, and firefighting jobs limits the abilities of disabled persons.

In case the qualifying standards eliminate a candidate based on personal disability, the criteria that are used to carry out the selection process are scrutinized against the ADA regulations. There is also a need to assess the suitability of the individual to the prospective job. Prudent evaluation of a disabled candidate should also involve checking the candidate’s qualifications against the business necessities to ensure consistency. This requirement accentuates the role of employers to ensure proper evaluation of the selection criteria before interview sessions. However, the above requirements raise a need to provide disabled persons with sensible accommodation facilities to ease the performance of tasks (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2011).

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Undoubtedly, the ADA has significantly influenced job selection processes amongst American organizations. The implementation of the Act reveals through the establishment of various recruitment strategies that align with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Previously, every eligible applicant had to undergo a rigorous interview that involved a series of assessments such as aptitude checks, written exams, historical background, psychosomatic, and medical tests. Nonetheless, the enactment of ADA regulations to prevent disabled individuals from passing through such interviews has raised the eyebrows of many employers. Congress bears the mandate to establish laws to protect disabled Americans; hence, it bears the authority to enact measures to avert any form of discrimination.

Tennessee v. Lane

The enactment of the ADA has resulted in unending debates amongst the enthusiasts and challengers of the Act. Several cases in the American Criminal Justice System have revealed this situation. For instance, in August 1998, two paraplegics, George Lane and his accomplice Beverly Jones filed a court suit against the State of Tennessee following assertions that the State had violated the provisions of the ADA. This essay uses the Tennessee versus Lane case to explain the extent to which the ADA exceeds its authority under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Explanation about whether the ADA exceeds its authority under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment

In the aforementioned case, Lane was forced to respond to a court hearing that was held on the second floor of an elevator-free building. His attempts to appear before the jury were thwarted by his state of disability. Eventually, he was arrested following assertions that he had failed to appear in court.

According to Peak (2011), the ADA’s legislation to disabled Americans exceeds its authority under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The provisions of the Act to protect disabled Americans have overpowered the authority of many employers. Therefore, ADA’s provisions have affected their roles to exercise managerial functions. This situation has led to controversial debates about the definition of disability.

According to Gold (2011), the prevailing regulations in the Act have differed from other important laws such as the Social Security Act that takes care of the welfare of both unemployed and incapacitated Americans. As a result, the workability of the Act amidst other existing laws that pertain to the protection of the social welfares of American citizens has raised questions about its constitutionality. Undoubtedly, the ADA infringes the roles of the prevailing constitutional regulations (Taube & Olkin, 2011).

The ADA upholds the endorsement of actual constitutional violations by barring adherence to constitutional provisions in an attempt to protect disabled people against discrimination (Gold, 2011). Section 5 of the legislation permits reserved provisions for individuals to sue states. This provision nullifies the power of the constitution; hence, it infringes on its roles. Notably, the ADA is a legislative repetition that is represented in the US constitution.

Therefore, there is a need for Congress to establish alternative enforcement that provides a clear definition of disability. Section 5 of the legislation elucidates on unconstitutional conduct that may result in a court suit. However, the Courts suggest that the government can establish special legislation to address prophylactic disabilities. Nevertheless, the statutory authority that is provided under Section 5 of the legislation has remained a controversial issue amongst the courts. This situation has led to intentional or unintentional violation of constitutional laws based on the nature of the prevailing cases.

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According to Stojkovic, Kalinich, and Klofas (2011), the ADA concurs with the provisions of the Congressional constitution in Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which seeks to offer equal protection to all disabled persons in America. Undoubtedly, the United States government has strived to protect disabled citizens against discrimination, particularly in social environments. Statutory provisions in the Congressional constitution necessitate the need for the Act since the constitution does not provide clear legislation to protect disabled individuals against discrimination. This situation makes the ADA appropriate legislation.


Various conflicts exist between the ADA and the Congressional constitution. Firstly, Peak (2011) posits that the fact that Congress exceeded its authority under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment makes the ADA unconstitutional. Secondly, the author posits that the existence of disabled individuals in American society should not become a benchmark to establish a constitutionally protected class of individuals. Otherwise, the state may opt to include provisional clauses to support the protection of disabled persons rather than upholding an unconstitutional Act that infringes the roles of the US constitution.


The provisions of the ADA have led to controversial debates that have raised questions about its constitutionality. The sustainability of the Act and its potential to protect disabled Americans against discrimination hinges on the provision of a distinct description of a disabled person. Such definition should enable every citizen to understand that disabled individuals are a special class of citizens who are protected against discrimination by the provisions of ADA.

Reference List

Gold, S. (2011). Americans with Disabilities Act. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.

Peak, K. (2011). Justice Administration: Police, Courts and Corrections Management. Nevada, USA: Prentice Hall.

Stojkovic, S., Kalinich, D., & Klofas, J. (2011). Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management. United States: Cengage Learning.

Taube, D., & Olkin, R. (2011). When is differential treatment discriminatory? Legal, ethical, and professional considerations for psychology trainees with disabilities. Rehabilitation Psychology, 56(4), pp. 329-39.

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