How to Interview Without Violating ADA Regulations

The Americans with Disabilities Act has implemented strict regulations for each employer to follow. Navigating their restrictions during your hiring process can be complex and challenging, which is why we have outlined a way for your financial institution to lawfully obey the guidelines. Before you start your next round of interviews, ensure you read the following to avoid a hefty lawsuit. In addition, equip your bank with an Employment Practices Liability Insurance policy.

Avoid asking the obvious.

If a candidate is in a wheelchair, uses a cane, or something similar, avoid asking directly why he or she needs it. Not only is this considered discrimination, it also demonstrates poor manners and is rude. Further, refrain from asking outright if someone has a specific illness, disease, or disability.

Be cautious about asking questions related to physical limitations.

Don’t ask a secretarial applicant questions like, “Can you stand?” or “Can you walk?” These questions about a major life activity are probably not job-related. You can ask questions about above-average performance of major life activities such as, “Can you walk two miles without discomfort?” explains FindLaw. You can also provide the hours that the position requires and ask if the applicant is capable of doing this with reasonable accommodation. For example, you can say, “Our hours are 9 to 6 Monday through Friday, does this work for you?”

Don’t pry.

If an applicant offers information about his or her disability, do not ask about their specific diagnosis or how it affects their work. Next, don’t ask questions about how much alcohol the person drinks per week or what kind of drugs they use (or have used in the past).  If you cannot ask the applicant something directly, don’t redirect these questions to their former employers or references. If you can’t ask he or she directly, don’t ask at all. However, it is appropriate to ask whether or not they have the required certificates and training to perform the job.

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