The Importance of Anti-Discrimination and Workers’ Compensation Laws on the Provision of Workplace Accommodations Following the Onset of a Disability

Posted: 20 Feb 2012

See all articles by Richard V. Burkhauser

Richard V. Burkhauser

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM); University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute

Maximilian D. Schmeiser

Amazon Lending

Robert Weathers

Government of the United States of America - Social Security Administration

Date Written: January 1, 2012

Abstract

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was the first federal disability-based anti-discrimination law that applied to a broad range of workers. Whereas some studies have focused on its impact on workplace accommodation, this is the first to do so while accounting for previous state anti-discrimination and Workers’ Compensation laws. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the authors find that prior to the implementation of the ADA, employers were more likely to accommodate workers if their disability onset was work-related and hence likely to be covered by Workers’ Compensation laws. State anti-discrimination laws significantly increased accommodations to workers whose disabilities were not work-related, effectively bringing their accommodation rates in line with workers whose disabilities were. Though implementation of the ADA increased accommodation for all workers, the authors point out that failure to account for pre-existing state anti-discrimination and Workers’ Compensation laws will underestimate its effect.

Keywords: disability, workers' compensation, ADA, workplace accommodation

JEL Classification: J14

Suggested Citation

Burkhauser, Richard V. and Schmeiser, Maximilian D. and Weathers, Robert, The Importance of Anti-Discrimination and Workers’ Compensation Laws on the Provision of Workplace Accommodations Following the Onset of a Disability (January 1, 2012). Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 65, No. 1, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2008350

Richard V. Burkhauser (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM) ( email )

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
161 Barry Street
Carlton, VIC 3053
Australia

Maximilian D. Schmeiser

Amazon Lending ( email )

Seattle, WA 98144
United States

Robert Weathers

Government of the United States of America - Social Security Administration ( email )

6401 Security Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21114
United States

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