ADA and the Role of Human Resource Management in Managing the Diverse Workforce of the 1990s
Serbrenia J. Sims and Ronald R. Sims
The phenomenon of inclusiveness and diversity of workforces is not new; human resource management (HRM) specialists have had to diversify workforces in response to gender, race, and age legislation for years. Working under these same general premises of existing legislation, HRM departments must now add yet another variable to the employment process (i.e., selection, recruitment, development, and termination), the inclusion of disabled individuals. The inclusion of the disabled should serve as a welcomed invitation to their open participation in the existing organization. This change in the status quo of most organizations requires new attitudes and behaviors on the part of all organizational members in order to be successfully implemented.
It is the contention of this chapter that the HRM department and its specialists should serve as the guiding force for this needed change. Thus HRM departments must be aware of the issues and possible implications that are associated with implementing ADA legislation and must issue organizational specific guidelines for their institutionalization. Other organizational leaders and departments should give great care to abiding by the guidelines established by the HRM department once they are issued. This chapter will hopefully aid the process by presenting an overview of issues that HRM departments must be aware of as they assist their organizations in the effective management of diverse workforces of the 1990s. More specifically, this chapter will discuss two core areas. First, it will look at the importance of the role of HRM professionals to getting their organizations to look within to find ways to