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Rehabilitation Act in Alaska


Posted by Diane

Employees in the state of Alaska should be aware of what the Rehabilitation Act entails, as many employees will work for companies that are covered by the Act. The Act is in place in order to ensure that when an employee has a recognized disability, the employer cannot discriminate against the employee for reasons that are related to that disability.

The Act only covers employees that have a disability and does not covered customers or clients of an employer. However, job applicants may also be covered. When an employee has a mental or physical impairment that qualifies as a disability, the individual could receive coverage. However, he or she needs to have a record of having the disability.

A physical disability could be a missing limb or a visual impairment. A mental disability could be depression or an addiction. When the employee has such a condition, the employer needs to make reasonable accommodations for the employee. For example, if an employee has an addiction, the employer should work with the employee to schedule times when the employee can receive treatment.

Not all employers are covered under the Act. In order to be covered, the employer needs to meet at least one of the following criteria:

·         Be a federal government agency or contractor that receives funds from the federal government, regardless of the branch of government

·         Be a state or local government agency or contractor that receives funds from the federal government, regardless of the branch of government

·         Be an educational institution that receives funds from the federal government

·         Be a public or private employer that receives funds from the federal government

Also, when an employer is covered, the employer cannot take the disability into account during any employment-related decision, such as the following:

·         Hiring

·         Termination

·         Training

·         Promotion

·         Compensation

If an employer has a federal contract worth at least $10,000, the employer needs to take affirmative action to hire an employee with a disabilities. If an employer has a federal contract worth at least $50,000 and has at least 50 employees, the employer needs to have a written affirmative action plan in place to hire workers with disabilities. CB

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