John Stossel lashed out at laws prohibiting discriminatory firing as "harmful," claiming that the Americans With Disabilities Act prohibition against employers firing workers because of their disabilities "makes it harder for them to get hired." In fact, studies have shown there is no evidence that that ADA provision reduced employment.
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Stossel: ADA Proves That Prohibiting Discriminatory Firing Reduces Employment
Stossel: Laws Prohibiting Discriminatory Firing Make It "Harder For Them To Get Hired." From the March 8 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:
STOSSEL: The libertarian point that we most often make is that what makes capitalism successful is that you ought to be able to fire people. Jack Welch, when GE was a good company, rather than a ward of the government, and it grew so fast, he fired 10 percent of the workers every year. He said the bottom 10 percent have to go. And to have an enterprise grow, you've got to be able to fire people.
When they passed this law protecting disabled people, fewer disabled people were hired. So all these laws meant to protect workers make it harder to fire them, makes it harder for them to get hired, it hurts workers. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/08/11]
Studies Show That Prohibiting Discriminatory Firing Is "Not The Likely Cause" Of Reduced Employment
Study: "Strong Evidence" That Prohibiting Firing On Basis Of Disability Was Not Responsible For Reduced Disabled Employment. A study examining the state-by-state effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act found "strong evidence" that the potential cost to an employer of firing an employee with disabilities was not responsible for lower employment of persons with disabilities during the 1990's. [National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 10740, September 2004]
Study: ADA Is "Not The Likely Cause" Of Decline In Employment Of Disabled Persons. From Cornell University's Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Economic Research on Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities:
The relative employment of working-age people with disabilities declined in the 1990s. Based on our review of the evidence, however, the ADA is not the likely cause of this decline. Instead, we find that the relative employment of the population with longer-term disabilities-- a population that is more likely to be eligible for SSDI/SSI benefits and ADA protection--began to fall around the mid-1980s, well before the implementation of the ADA, but soon after 1984 legislation that substantially expanded the medical definition of disability used by the SSDI and SSI programs. [Cornell University Research Brief, August 2004]