Dispelling the Myths
Let’s set the record straight.
Myth: Accommodations will be difficult and costly.
Truth: The average cost of workplace accommodations was $600 or less in 2006. The vast majority of workers with disabilities do not require accommodations. (Job Accommodation Network, 2006)
Myth: People with disabilities will sue.
Truth: Studies show that disability claims are rare; 91% of employers had no ADA complaints filed in the previous 12 months. (Society of Human Resource Management, April 2003). People with disabilities want jobs, not lawsuits, and they are no more of a “legal liability” than other employees. (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2006).
Myth: Employees with disabilities will use more sick leave and health care.
Truth: Employees with disabilities have been shown to have the same absentee and sick rates as nondisabled employees.
In addition, large companies do not experience increased insurance premiums when they hire employees with disabilities. Because of recent Medicare changes and Medicaid buy-in programs, many people with disabilities carry their own primary insurance, thereby reducing their employer’s costs. (Social Security Administration, 2006).
Another Truth: Companies that institute Return-to-Work programs for employees who become disabled can actually reduce insurance costs.