Lexology.com is a website written for and by the legal profession. This is an excerpt of an opinion piece that recently appeared on the site, warning employers about the potential for lawsuits from people with disabilities should their job postings not be fully accessible by screen readers.
“In recent years, businesses have been inundated with a wave of serial litigation wherein private plaintiffs have argued that websites that are insufficiently compatible with screen reading software are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “
The ADA prohibits entities covered by the act “from discriminating against an individual with a disability with respect to job application procedures.” At the same time, the U.S. Department of Justice has issued informal guidance that appears to suggest companies who do not program their job postings to be readable with screen readers may violate the ADA, as it prohibits discrimination in hiring decisions.
“At this time, it is unknown how courts will come out on these claims. Until there is clarity on the law, businesses should consider how a blind and/or visually impaired person can independently browse and review job postings. Good practice would be to ensure that any online job boards are programmed to be compatible with most commercially available screen reading software to ensure that blind and/or visually impaired persons are not inadvertently denied the opportunity to review and apply for those jobs.”
Want to know more? The article contains some interesting links to lawsuits of this nature, including a suit against Domino’s Pizza.