Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Disability Employment: Myths & Truths

Myth: Accommodations will be difficult and costly.
Truth: The average cost of workplace accommodations in 2006 was $600 or less. The vast majority of workers with disabilities do not require accommodations. (Job Accommodation Network, 2006)

Myth: People with disabilities will sue.
Truth: Studies show that disability claims are rare. For example, 91% of employers had no ADA complaints filed in the previous 12 months. (Society of Human Resource Management, April 2003).
Truth: People with disabilities want jobs, not lawsuits, and they are no more of a “legal liability” than other employees. (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2006)

Myth: Employees with disabilities will use more sick leave and health care.
Truth: Employees with disabilities have been shown to have the same absentee and sick rates as nondisabled employees.
Truth: Large companies do not experience increased insurance premiums when they hire employees with disabilities. Because of Medicare and Medicaid buy-in programs, many people with disabilities carry their own primary insurance, thereby reducing their employer’s costs. (Social Security Administration, 2006).
Truth: Companies that institute Return-to-Work programs for employees who become disabled can actually reduce insurance costs.

To learn about resources for employers visit atworkwa.org/employers.

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