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Who enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Our Florida readers, as well as those in other states, should become familiar with the finer details of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This knowledge could come in handy should you or a loved one be discriminated against at your place of employment as the result of a disability.

The United States Department of Labor defines the Americans with Disabilities Act as follows:

"The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services."

While the United States Department of Labor may be top dog when it comes to enforcing this act, there are four other federal agencies that do the same:

-- The Department of Justice

-- The Federal Communications Commission

-- The Department of Transportation

-- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

From an employment perspective, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is in charge of enforcing regulations. For example, if a disabled person is discriminated against at work, the EEOC may step in to provide him or her with guidance or assistance.

In a perfect world, the Americans with Disabilities Act would not be necessary. Instead, all people would be treated fairly at their place of employment, as well as during the hiring process. This is not the case, however.

Everybody should know the ins and outs of the Americans with Disabilities Act, including who is responsible for enforcement. This information could come into play at some point in the future if you or a loved one becomes a victim of discrimination.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Disability Resources" accessed Feb. 17, 2015

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