Employers with 4 or more employees need to read this – Disability Employment Expansion

Author: Miranda Bond Date: June 27, 2014

Senate Bill 185 passed the House of Representatives in a 25-15 vote on the last day of session, Monday June 30. The bill will will now be sent to the Governor's desk for his signature. This bill will expand the State disability-based employment discrimination law to employers with 4 or more employees. Previously, the law only applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

The Senate voted to pass SB 185 on June 3 in a 15-5 vote.

Concerns with this new law: Small business with 4-14 employees will face exposure to new liability and litigation concerns they have not previously faced as well as the challenge of coming into compliance with a complicated framework of ever-changing employment regulations.

The primary concern expressed by our members is that this law appears to cast aside protections contained in Federal Equal Employment Provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), which limits enforcement of applicable provisions to businesses with fifteen or more employees. Breaking with the framework set by this federal law and forcing businesses with less than 15 employees to come into compliance is not only cumbersome and confusing for these small businesses, it opens the door for disability discrimination lawsuits for against small businesses who would now become liable for the all applicable requirements.

NFIB thanks Sen. Robert Venables, Sr for his vocal opposition to this bill. His Statement: “The reason we went to 15 [employees] is because small businesses don’t have a lot of money. When you get down to 4 [employees], you don’t have a lot of extra money that allows you to do things that would be necessary to do this bill. It goes too far. Just because other states did it doesn’t make it right. This is going to have a really big impact on small businesses with just 4 employees.”

Thank you to everyone who took action and urged their legislators to oppose this bill

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