Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Kaye, S.H., Jans, L.H. and Jones, E.C. (2011). Why don't employers hire and retain workers with disabilities?. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 21 526-536.
Title:  Why don't employers hire and retain workers with disabilities?
Authors:  Kaye, S.H., Jans, L.H. and Jones, E.C.
Year:  2011
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  Springer
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Research about employer attitudes and perceptions towards hiring people with disabilities have been positive. Despite this fact individuals with disabilities remain under and unemployed. Previous studies may be biased as the respondents may be concerned about expressing their true feelings on this topic.
Purpose:  This study aimed to learn more about why employers do not hire people with disabilities and gain insight into what strategies might be useful to improve employment outcomes.
Setting:  Respondents completed the surveys in a variety of training sites.
Study sample:  The sample was made up of 463 human resources professionals and managers who attended ADA or other disability related training. No demographic data was gathered in order to help protect the respondent's anonymity.
Intervention:  There was no intervention. This is survey research.
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control or comparison conditions.
Data collection and analysis:  Data was collected using two questionnaires. One was about barriers to work for individuals with disabilities. The other was related to strategies to improve employment outcomes for this group. Item non response and don't know was low. Both types of responses were excluded from data analysis.
Findings:  The top three reasons reported about why employers might not hire people with disabilities were: cost of accommodations, lack of awareness about workers with disabilities and accommodation needs, and fear of being stuck with an under performing employee who can not be disciplined or let go without an lawsuit. Proposed reasons for not retaining workers were lack of awareness on how to handle workers needs, concern about workers becoming liabilities (legal or financial) and cost of accommodations. The top three strategies to improve hiring and retention were: training on disability issues for supervisors and managers, central organizational wide source for expertise on accommodation issues, written guidelines on how to handle disability issues, and system for handling requests for accommodation. The top three policy strategies government program to pay for accommodations, someone to help solve disability and accommodation related issues at no cost to the employer and tax breaks for hiring or retaining a worker with disability.
Conclusions:  Employers might use practical approaches to facilitate the hiring and retention of people with disabilities.Public policies may also be enhanced to encourage this practice.

Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Outcomes:  Other