[Nfbmo] Fw: [Missouri-l] Fw: [leadership] Good Intentions Gone Bad
GWunder at earthlink.net
Wed Sep 1 15:50:23 UTC 2010
What is interesting is to see how few suits there really are under the ADA
and how few prevail. If you look hard enough, you can find an extreme
example of anything, but mostly the burden is still on the individual to be
smarter, work harder, and have more technical skills to get his/her foot in
the door and then stay there.
From: nfbmo-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbmo-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of fred olver
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 10:28 AM
To: NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List; NFB of Missouri Mailing List
Subject: [Nfbmo] Fw: [Missouri-l] Fw: [leadership] Good Intentions Gone Bad
----- Original Message -----
From: "Chip Hailey" <chip at gatewayfortheblind.com>
To: "MCB Listserve" <missouri-l at moblind.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 9:02 AM
Subject: [Missouri-l] Fw: [leadership] Good Intentions Gone Bad
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "peter altschul" <paltschul at centurytel.net>
> To: "Acblead" <leadership at acb.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:31 AM
> Subject: [leadership] Good Intentions Gone Bad
>> Good Intentions Gone Bad
>> John Stossel
>> You own a business, maybe a restaurant. You've got a lot to worry
>> about. You have to make sure the food is safe and tastes good, that the
>> place is clean and appealing, that workers are friendly and paid
>> according to a hundred Labor Department and IRS rules.
>> On top of that, there are rules you might have no idea about. The
>> bathroom sinks must be a specified height. So must the doorknobs and
>> mirrors. You must have rails. And if these things aren't right -- say,
>> if your mirror is just one inch too high --
>> you could be sued for thousands of dollars. And be careful. If you fail
>> to let a customer bring a large snake, which he calls his "service
>> animal," into your restaurant, you could be in trouble. All of this is
>> because of the well-intentioned Americans With Disabilities Act, which
>> President George H.W. Bush signed 20 years ago.
>> The ADA was popular with Republicans and Democrats. It passed both
>> houses of Congress with overwhelming majorities, 377 to 28 in the House
>> and 91 to 6 in the Senate.
>> What does it do? The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with
>> disabilities, requiring businesses to provide the disabled "equal access"
>> and to make "reasonable accommodation" for employees. Tax credits and
>> deductions are available for special equipment (talking computers, for
>> instance) and modifying buildings to comply with the accessibility
>> The ADA was supposed to help more disabled people find jobs. But did
>> it? Strangely, no. An MIT study found that employment of disabled men
>> ages 21 to 58 declined after the ADA went into effect. Same for women
>> ages 21 to 39.
>> How could employment among the disabled have declined? Because the law
>> turns "protected" people into potential lawsuits. Most ADA litigation
>> occurs when an employee is fired, so the safest way to avoid those costs
>> is not to hire the disabled in the first place.
>> Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of the
>> Overlawyeredddcom blog, says that the law was unnecessary. Many "hire
>> the handicapped" programs existed before the ADA passed. Sadly, now most
>> have been quietly discontinued, probably because of the threat of legal
>> consequences if an employee doesn't work out.
>> Under the ADA, Olson notes, fairness does not mean treating disabled
>> people the same as non-disabled people. Rather it means accommodating
>> them. In other words, the law requires that people be treated unequally.
>> The law has also unleashed a landslide of lawsuits by "professional
>> litigants" who file a hundred suits at a time. Disabled people visit
>> businesses to look for violations, but instead of simply asking that a
>> violation be corrected, they partner with lawyers who (legally) extort
>> settlement money from the businesses.
>> Some disabled people have benefited from changes effected by the ADA,
>> but the costs are rarely accounted for. If a small business has to lay
>> off an employee to afford the added expense of accommodating the
>> disabled, is that a good thing -- especially if, say, customers in
>> wheelchairs are rare? Extra-wide bathroom stalls that reduce the overall
>> number of toilets are only some of the unaccounted-for costs of the ADA.
>> And since ADA modification requirements are triggered by renovation, the
>> law could actually discourage businesses from making needed renovations
>> as a way of avoiding the expense.
>> A few disabled people speak up against the law. Greg Perry, author of
>> "Disabling America: The Unintended Consequences of the Government's
>> Protection of the Handicapped," says that because the disabled now
>> represent an added expense to businesses, many resent them.
>> Finally, the ADA has led to some truly bizarre results. Exxon gave ship
>> captain Joseph Hazelwood a job after he completed alcohol rehab.
>> Hazelwood then drank too much and let the Exxon Valdez run aground in
>> Alaska. Exxon was sued for allowing it to happen. So Exxon prohibited
>> employees who have had a drug or drinking problem from holding
>> safety-sensitive jobs. The result? You guessed it -- employees with a
>> history of alcohol abuse sued under the ADA, demanding their "right" to
>> those jobs. The federal government (Equal Employment Opportunity
>> Commission) supported the employees. Courts are still trying to sort it
>> More money for the parasites.
>> John Stossel is an award-winning news correspondent and author of Myths,
>> Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You
>> Know is Wrong.
>> leadership mailing list
>> leadership at acb.org
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