Business Benefits: Why Hiring Workers with Disabilities is One of the Best Business Moves You Can Make

Aug 30, 2013
Tagged with: Business Benefits: Why Hiring Workers with Disabilities is One of the Best Business Moves You Can Make


When the time comes to hire a new employee, employers sometimes overlook those individuals with disabilities. Workers with Disabilities are a talented segment of the workforce with surprisingly high rates of unemployment. Overlooking candidates with disabilities who are many times more than qualified may mean unnecessarily ending up with a mediocre employee because you limited the talent pool you searched in. Beyond just having a person to fill the job opening, employing people with disabilities can have several productivity, tax, and legal benefits to your company.

Good Business Practice

First, it’s good for business. Hiring workers with disabilities reinforces that a company is committed to a diverse workforce. In your community, this image can create opportunities for networking and partnerships as well as bringing in potential employees and business associates. It also opens up the market for you to attract new customers. For many people, it is important to patronize businesses that are doing their part to support others in the community. By opening your doors and putting programs in place to employ workers with disabilities, your business is helping to meet the needs of your community.

Overcome Legal Concerns

Second, having employees with disabilities can help you prevent some legal issues. By not overlooking candidates with disabilities while hiring, you are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in regards to hiring, firing, training, and pay. Being in potential violation of the ADA could place you  in danger of employment lawsuits and fines.

Tax Benefits

Third, there are tax benefits to employing workers with disabilities. It is tax deductible to make your facility more accessible and safe for workers with disabilities, which can benefit all of your workers and customers as well. Removing barriers, creating ramps and installing hand rails are all eligible actions for something called the ‘disabled access credit’. Additionally, there is a work opportunity credit that is available to employers who hire those workers with disabilities, as well as subsidized training programs.

 Diversity and Growth

Finally, studies show that many important aspects of the workplace improve when there are employees with disabilities working on a team. With unique experiences and perspectives, workers with disabilities on your team can broaden your company’s horizons with different ideas. They can help you tap into the needs and desires of a population you may not have been thinking about, and find ways to enhance your business to make it accessible to everyone. On a personal level, employees with disabilities come with the proven background of having faced challenges and proven their desire and will to work. Studies have shown that workers with disabilities have lower absentee and turnover rates than other workers, and therefore may help save the costs of hiring and training a new employee. Lastly, both employees with and without disabilities who work in a disability-friendly workplace report higher rates of satisfaction with their work.

 

Berkowitz Klein LLP

Author: Gerald Berkowitz