Breaking Down Barriers and Protecting our Due Process Rights from ADA Administrative Violations
Politics affects how administrators comply with administrative law requirements. The term administrative law could be defined as a body of law that vests authority in administrative agencies, imposing defined regulations on the agencies as remedies against administrative abuse (Ozumba, 2014). Evidently, administrative laws could be inhibited by the existing regulations on government agencies. Examples of such laws include the Americans Disability Act, the Social Security Act, and the Environmental Protection Act. However, it is notable that the regulations imposed on administrative agencies are meant to protect the due process of administrative laws. From the examples of administrative laws mentioned, there is more than on administrative law in America. Nevertheless, the upcoming discussion focuses on the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and argues that though regulations inhibit the due process of the Act, they protect our ADA’s due process from administrative violations.
The Effect of Politics on Administrative Laws
Clearly, administrative agencies make decisions that affect Americans directly. Contrary to the type of decisions made by administrative agencies, their leaders are neither elected officials nor responsible to the public. The situation is further aggravated by the American legal system. This owes to the reality that the American government has the executive and legislature as branches of government that are supposed to provide checks and balances on administrative agencies. Critical to the discussion is the fact that the executive may have different philosophical opinions from the legislature yet, administrative agencies are supposed to comply with directives from both branches of government. Consequently, administrative agencies are exposed to the plight of American Politics.
In as much as the legislature and the executive expose administrative agencies to the effects of American politics, American courts also influence decisions made by administrative agencies. As evidenced, the Center for an Accessible Society (n.d) cites that 98 percent of court cases on the American Disabilities Act of 1990 are always decided in favor of the defendants. The same author further asserts that ninety percent of cases sent to court are always thrown out. This reveals that even though administrative agencies may desire to perform their duties to the latter, they are hampered by courts. This owes to the fact that even though laws guiding administrative agencies are created by the legislature, they must be implemented in the American courts. As a result, administrative agencies have to rely on courts for their decisions to be implemented. In fact, courts have additional procedures imposed on administrative law based on common law and constitutional principles.
The American Disability Act of 1990
The American Disability Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination in America for people with disabilities. As cited by Jones (2010), the act provides a comprehensive and clear national authority that eliminates discrimination against the disabled. Critical to the discussion is the reality that the Act protects disabled Americans from discrimination in employment, public accommodation, and other public services such as telecommunications and transportation (Melo, 2002). It is important to note that the Act provides guidelines and procedures on how different issues to be tackled. This owes to the reality that the Act defines roles of administrative agencies such as the Department of Transportation, (Jones, 2001) the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, and the Equal employment Opportunity Commission. These agencies work together by trying to resolve cases involving conflicting parties out of court. However, there are instances where the conflicting parties fail to agree implying such cases must be brought before courts.
The Effect of Politics on ADA
As mentioned earlier, politics affects administrative laws implying ADA is no exception to the American Politics. As evidenced, the Center for an Accessible Society (n.d) reveals that politics of the American Disability Act began even before the law was implemented. Specifically, the author argues that some congress members opposed the bill citing that opening up opportunities for 54 million disabled Americans would lead the country into bankruptcy. Further evidence from the Center for an Accessible Society (n.d) reveals that the law is sometimes misinterpreted or misunderstood. Specifically, the author mentions that:
“Law Professor Robert Burgdorf has written, “Twelve years ago, as I drafted the original version of the Americans with Disabilities Act, I never dreamt that this landmark civil rights law would become so widely misunderstood and my words so badly misinterpreted, particularly by the body meant to protect the very rights guaranteed by the law.”
It is notable that many disabled people are perturbed because of the minimal transformations resulting from the Act in question. As evidenced, Blanck (1996) argues that 70 percent of disabled Americans were unemployed in 1990. Critical to the debate is the reality that the number of unemployed people with disabilities should have increased after implementing ADA. On the contrary, the Bureau of Labor of Statistics (2015) reveals that only 17.1 percent of disabled Americans were employed in 2014. Blanck (1996) also mentions that the rate of unemployment among disabled Americans ranges from fifty to ninety percent. It follows that even though ADA was meant to improve the quality of life for disabled Americans, little progress is made towards achieving the objective. It is vital that adverse court rulings coupled with federal policies are cited as some of the reasons for the slow transformation. For instance, the Center for an Accessible Society (n.d) argues that the present federal policies create an unhealthy working environment for Americans with disabilities.
The Due Process Standards
The purpose of the due process is to provide guidelines to the agencies tasked with the responsibility of overseeing ADA. To begin with, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) together with the Office of Federal Contract and Compliance Programs (OFCCP) must share information relating to employment practices and policies. Vital to the debate is the fact that the two agencies share information such as the provision of government contract to contractors, and employment practices by both public and private employers. The information is also readily available to the public upon their request. It is also notable that the department of labor and OFCCP receive information from EEOC and treats such information with utmost confidentiality. As evidenced, the Code of Federal Regulation (2014) reveals that agencies receiving information from EEOC must handle the information with the confidentiality guidelines of sections 709(e) and 706(b) of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Short, 2012).
The due process also requires that hearing, investigation, and determination of cases filed on ADA utilize legal procedures that are consistent with ADA. Further, EEOC and OFCCP are responsible for training employees on substantial procedural provisions of the Act in question. The standards also require that complaints filed with OFCCP be handled in a professional fashion by communicating effectively. For instance, the Code of Federal Regulation (2014) reveals that case filed with OFCCP will be regarded as complaints. The same agency will act as an agent of the EEOP and will receive, investigate, and process all cases except in outlined circumstances. Examples of such exceptions include cases filed for violation of affirmative action. However, the Act provides guidelines on how OFCCP should handle the exceptional cases (Code of Federal Regulation, 2014). Ultimately, EEOC is permitted to receive, file, but not investigate complaints under procedures similar to the ones discussed above.
In ten days after filing a complaint, the OFCCP is mandated to notify the respondent of the received complaint by stating the date, circumstances, and place of the alleged complaint. Further, OFCCP is supposed to transfer complaints to EEOC if the latter agency has jurisdiction of the complaint while the former does not. Critical to the debate is the fact that the purpose of the transfer must be highlighted and communicated appropriately. However, if OFCCP proceeds with the investigation and finds no violation of ADA, then the case will be closed. If the agency establishes violation of ADA, then the organization will have the conflicting parties try to resolve the issue. On the contrary, failure to resolve the issue will push OFCCP into litigation and the same will be communicated to EEOC. If the complaint tries to file the same case with EEOC, then the files will be declined to avoid conflicting solutions and procedures.
How the Barriers Protect the Due Process
Evidently, the due process is characterized by barriers, which are meant to protect the due process. For instance, it is evident that several branches of government supervise administrative agencies in charge of the Act under discussion. As a result, the administrative agencies must conduct their obligations with utmost rigor to ascertain that both branches of government are satisfied with their work. This covers for the fact that leaders who are not directly responsible to the public head administrative agencies. It is also clear that agencies tasked with the duty of overseeing ADA are mandated to share information. Specifically, it is clear that EEOC and OFCCP must share information regarding filed complaints, which promotes accountability. It is because sharing information between agencies ensures that the involved agencies provide checks and balances to each other, which in turn promotes accountability.
The barriers also promote fair hearings on all complaints owing to the fact that the due process involves an element of timely communication. As a result, both the complainant and the respondent have time to prepare and resolve the case. Further, the due process ensures confidentiality, which protects the brand of responding contractors. Clearly, confidentiality promotes the due process by ensuring that parties involved in the case do not access information that is not entitled to them. In addition, confidentiality promotes fair hearings by reducing instances where evidence and witnesses vital to hearings are coerced into false witnessing. It is notable that the procedure of the due process provides room for involved agencies to operate cohesively. This owes to the reality that the due process requires any involved agencies to communicate effectively. As a result, the organizations are able to identify irregularities such as double filing of cases in the different agencies.
Additional barriers on ADA are included in Act. For instance, Melo (2002) argues that the Act has a clause requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodation for the disabled unless providing reasonable accommodation would result in undue hardship. Clearly, the due process of the Americans disability Act of 1990 is marred with procedural barriers, but the barriers are meant for the good. As evidenced, Bishop and Jones (1993) argue that even though the regulations of ADA could be extraordinarily detailed, the purpose of the Act is to eliminate discrimination against disabled Americans. This owes to the fact that ADA provides a strong, clear, comprehensive and enforceable standards intended to defend disabled Americans from unfair discrimination on opportunities. In fact, Bishop and Jones (1993) assert that the barriers are meant to limit expenses and disruption while promoting integration of the Act.
In conclusion, this paper argues that though regulations of the American Disability Act of 1990 inhibit the due process of the Act, they protect ADA’s due process from administrative violations. Apparently, prohibits discrimination against Americans with disabilities. It is also evident that politics from the executive and legislative branches of government hamper the operation of administrative agencies. However, the same barrier ensures that administrative agencies are answerable to American citizens because elected officials partly supervise the agencies. Further, guidelines present in ADA at times act as barriers. However, as Bishop and Jones (1993) argue, even though the regulations of ADA could be extraordinarily detailed, the purpose of the Act is to eliminate discrimination against disabled Americans. Therefore, there is sufficient evidence to deduce that barriers present in ADA protect our ADA’s due process from administrative violations.
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