Original American Disability Act
As the law was originally drafted, it did cover Harry’s condition. Harry would still be considered as a person with disability even before the court decisions that introduced amendments, were implemented. Therefore, the American Disability Act would be used to protect him against discrimination. One of the qualification standards of the act was that the person should not pose a direct threat to the safety as well as health of the persons at the workplace. Epilepsy was a condition that could not be transmitted to another person; as a result, it was not a threat to other workers. However, on one hand it presented a threat, because other workers could be injured incase Harry had an attack during the working time. The machines required concentration and incase of attack, it could result in death or injury. Therefore, to that extend, Harry was not qualified under the original Act (Miller & Jentz, P. 488-501)
However, a section of the Act that provides for reasonable accommodation, whereby Harry is able to work with or without reasonable accommodation. The employer would not have been put under undue hardship to accommodate Harry with his disability as his employee. He only needs to ensure that Harry takes his medication and he will be able to work as a person without disability. In addition, Harry has the required qualification; this makes him a qualified person with disability. The employer will not have to compromise on the quality standards to accommodate him. As a result, Harry’s case is covered under the American Disability Act as originally drafted (Miller & Jentz, P. 501-506)
Ethical and Legal Issues Incase of Injury or Death
There are various issues involved in the employment of people with disability, especially when injury or death occurs. One of the ethical issues is whether other employees were informed of Harry’s condition to take necessary precautions. Medical reports of an employee should be kept secret even when they have no reports of disability. However, by informing other workers of Harry’s conditions they will be able to work with him and support him to handle his disabled situation effectively. It is ethical to inform Harry’s colleagues of his conditions as well as how they can handle the situation. Therefore, incase of injury or death the investigators will seek to find out if those working with Harry were adequately informed of the risk and the possible measures to take incase of an attack. In the event that the workers were not informed, yet their knowledge would have helped the situation then the employer will be liable (Vandenbark, p. 1).
Another legal issue that might come up is whether the level of potential risk was known and if the required loss mitigation measures were in place. For instance, if necessary measures were taken to check whether employing Harry was not a safety risk. For Harry’s case, it was known that his work required concentration and alertness. Therefore, there is need to provide measures that will ensure that he does not experience any epileptic attack, which would result in lack of concentration. Therefore, the investigators will seek to find out if Harry was provided with conditions that would enable him to take his medication without fail. They would also find out if the epileptic attack on Harry was because of negligence (Miller & Jentz, P. 514-519)
Court cases to be considered by Bill
The first court case that Bill should consider, when deciding whether to employ Harry is Bragdon v Abbott. In defining an individual with disability, the Supreme Court up held a decision that a person with HIV and in asymptomatic stage has a physical impairment. The court ruled that such a condition impaired the plaintiff from carrying out a major life activity – reproduction. As a result, denying her an opportunity based solely on her condition amounted to discrimination against a qualified person with disability. Therefore, Bill cannot reject Harry based on his health only, as this would amount to discrimination of a qualified person based on his health. Epilepsy affects Harry’s performance of manual activities, which is a major life activity. However, Harry has all the qualifications for the job except for his health (Miller & Jentz, P. 532-534)
The other case is Sutton v Unite Airlines Inc., which involved two twin sisters and the Airline Company. Karen Sutton and Kimberly Hitton were the plaintiffs who shared a dream of flying one of the major airlines. After application for a job and interview by at United airlines, they were rejected because they had an uncorrected vision. However, their condition could be corrected by using corrective lenses. Although the Jury found that their vision amounted to physical impairment, it was corrected. Hence, it did not substantially impair their seeing, which is a major life activity. This can be related to Harry’s epilepsy, whereby his condition can be corrected by taking medication without fail. As a result, he will be able to operate as a normal person in area that requires high concentration like the current employment position (Miller & Jentz, P. 535-537).
What Bill should do
Bill should employ Harry in one of the two positions, because he has attested that Harry has the required qualifications for the job. Harry was honest and provided him with the all the relevant information about his condition. Therefore, rejecting him would amount to discrimination of a qualified person with disability. Epilepsy in not infectious and this makes it less risky to employ an epileptic person. He needs to focus on the qualification of the all the three candidates based on academic qualification and experience and not disability, because that would only eliminate Harry. As a result, Harry might seek legal redress, which will be costly to the company (HR specialist, p.2).
However, Bill need to provide for reasonable accommodation that would allow Harry to perform effectively as a person without disability. The evidence from Harry’s resume attests that he had worked in other areas and performed, because his record matches that of his fellow candidates. This is in spite of his disability. Therefore, Bill can discuss with Harry on ways that he can provide facilities or measures that would lead to Harry’s effectiveness. The measure needed to provide Harry with the required conditions is reasonable, as the company can afford them. The employer can provide for breaks, whereby Harry can be taking his medication to ensure he does not forget. In addition, the employer can provide him with a register where he can be signing after every dose to ensure he does not skip any of his doses. Therefore, Bill can employ Harry and one of the candidates who has no disability. This will ensure that he does not discriminate against Harry due to his disability. Furthermore, he would have secured the services of a qualified person as his employee (Vandenbark, p. 2-7).
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