Americans with Disabilities Act

Disability Resources

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/

People with disabilities need good jobs too. The Department of Labor has several agencies that can help people with disabilities find meaningful work and launch successful careers, help employers hire people with disabilities, and help federal contractors stay within the law when hiring.

  • Office of Disability Employment Policy
    • ODEP opens access to training, education, employment supports, assistive technology, and more.
    • ODEP’s http://www.disability.gov offers social media tools and upgrades to complement the information from 22 federal agencies on disability-related programs and services.
    • ODEP does not enforce any laws.
  • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
    • OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
      • Federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts of $10,000 or more must take affirmative action to employ and promote qualified people with disabilities.
    • OFCCP has coordinating authority under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act
      • ADA prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities.
    • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has primary authority for enforcing the employment provisions of ADA. Most government contractors are covered by both Section 503 and the ADA.
    • OFCCP enforces the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act,
      • VEVRAA prohibits employment discrimination against certain categories of veterans by federal contractors. Some disabled veterans are covered under this law.
  • Employment and Training Administration provides grant programs and other services to enhance the employment opportunities of people with disabilities.
  • Civil Rights Center, part of Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, enforces several federal disability nondiscrimination laws, including Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and others.
    • Section 504 imposes affirmative disability-related responsibilities on recipients of federal financial assistance as well as federal programs and activities and prohibits disability-based discrimination by those groups. The CRC enforces the law on groups that receive financial assistance from DOL.
    • Section 508 requires that electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities.
    • Section 188 prohibits disability-based discrimination by programs and activities that are offered as part of the One-Stop service delivery system established by WIA Title I. Title II of the ADA contains similar provisions applicable to public employers; CRC is responsible for enforcing Title II with regard to “all programs, services, and regulatory activities” of organizations “relating to labor and the work force.”
    • Executive Order: E.O. 11478 prohibits employment discrimination and requires affirmative action on various bases, including disability, by the federal government
    • Executive Order: E.O. 13160 prohibits disability-based discrimination in education programs and activities conducted by executive departments and agencies.

 

Americans with Disabilities Act

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/ada.htm

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.

The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)provides publications and other technical assistance on the basic requirements of the ADA. It does not enforce any part of the law.

In addition to the Department of Labor, four federal agencies enforce the ADA:

Another federal agency, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB), also known as the Access Board, issues guidelines to ensure that buildings, facilities, and transit vehicles are accessible and usable by people with disabilities.

Two agencies within the Department of Labor enforce portions of the ADA. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has coordinating authority under the employment-related provisions of the ADA. The Civil Rights Center is responsible for enforcing Title II of the ADA as it applies to the labor- and workforce-related practices of state and local governments and other public entities. See the Laws & Regulations subtopic for specific information on these provisions.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

  • ODEP Publications
    The Office of Disability Employment Policy offers publications on a range of topics related to disability employment policy and practices.

Related Web Pages on This Topic

 

Employee Rights

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/employeerights.htm

Individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination in employment primarily by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides information about these laws. However, ODEP does not enforce these laws.

The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires federal contractors and subcontractors with government contracts in excess of $10,000 to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities. Additionally, OFCCP has coordinating authority under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits job discrimination by employers against qualified individuals with disabilities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)has primary authority for enforcing the employment-related provisions of the ADA, which are found in Title I. Most government contractors are covered by both Section 503 and Title I of the ADA.

OFCCP also enforces the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). Some disabled veterans are covered under this law. If a covered disabled veteran believes he or she has been discriminated against by a federal contractor or subcontractor, he or she may file a complaint with OFCCP.

The Department’s Civil Rights Center (CRC) enforces the employment-related provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 504 covers organizations and entities that receive federal financial assistance from DOL. CRC also enforces Title II of the ADA as that title applies to the labor- and workforce-related practices of state and local governments and other public entities. Finally, CRC enforces Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), which bars disability-based discrimination by programs and activities that are part of the One-Stop employment and training system established by WIA Title I. See the Laws & Regulations subtopic for specific information on these laws.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

Related Web Pages on This Topic

  • Civil Rights Information from Disability.gov
    Information about employment, housing, transportation, and many other rights afforded to people with disabilities.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
    The EEOC enforces Title I of the ADA.
  • Department of Justice
    The Department of Justice enforces parts of the ADA and coordinates enforcement of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Section 508.gov
    This Web site, developed by the Center for Information Technology Accommodation in the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Governmentwide Policy, contains resources for understanding and implementing the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

 

Employers’ Responsibilities

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/employersresponsibilities.htm

Employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities by Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In general, the employment provisions of the ADA require:

  • equal opportunity in selecting, testing, and hiring qualified applicants with disabilities;
  • job accommodation for applicants and workers with disabilities when such accommodations would not impose “undue hardship;” and
  • equal opportunity in promotion and benefits.

The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)provides information on the ADA, but it does not enforce any part of the law.

Other federal laws bar discrimination on the basis of disability in employment and are either enforced or administered by the Department of Labor. The primary such law is Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires federal contractors and subcontractors with government contracts in excess of $10,000 to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is responsible for enforcing Section 503.

The Department’s Civil Rights Center (CRC) enforces the employment-related provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 504 covers organizations and entities that receive federal financial assistance from DOL. CRC also enforces Title II of the ADA as that title applies to the labor- and workforce-related practices of state and local governments and other public entities. Finally, CRC enforces Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), which bars disability-based discrimination by programs and activities that are part of the One-Stop employment and training system established by WIA Title I. See the Laws & Regulations subtopic for specific information on these laws.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces ADA regulations covering employment.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

  • Business Focus
    Provides links to information on hiring and employing people with disabilities.
  • Recruiting and Hiring Practices
    Provides links to information on how to find qualified applicants with disabilities and comply with laws prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in the workplace.
  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
    JAN is a free consulting service that provides information about job accommodations, the ADA, and the employability of people with disabilities.
  • JAN’s Web Portal for Employers
    Information for employers about accommodation, legal issues, and human resources issues.
  • Business Leadership Network
    The Business Leadership Network is a national program led by employers in concert with state Governors’ Committees and/or other community agencies that engage the leadership and participation of companies throughout the United States to hire qualified job candidates with disabilities.

 

 

Hiring People with Disabilities

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/hiring.htm

The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)provides the following programs to help employers find qualified applicants with disabilities:

ODEP also offers fact sheets to educate employers about laws pertaining to the hiring of people with disabilities. These laws generally are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

  • Recruiting and Hiring Practices
    Provides links to information on how to find qualified applicants with disabilities and comply with laws protecting people with disabilities in the workplace.
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program
    The Work Opportunity Tax Credit program provides a tax credit for employers who hire certain targeted low-income groups, including applicants who are vocational rehabilitation referrals.
  • Business Leadership Network
    The Business Leadership Network is a national program led by employers in concert with state Governors’ Committees and/or other community agencies that engages the leadership and participation of companies throughout the United States to hire qualified job candidates with disabilities.

 

 

Job Accommodations

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/jobaccommodations.htm

A job accommodation is a reasonable adjustment to a job or work environment that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to perform job duties. Determining whether to provide accommodations involves considering the required job tasks, the functional limitations of the person doing the job, the level of hardship to the employer, and other issues. Accommodations may include specialized equipment, facility modifications, adjustments to work schedules or job duties, as well as a whole range of other creative solutions.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), provides a free consulting service on workplace accommodations.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
    The Job Accommodation Network provides information on job accommodations through its Web site and toll-free information service.
  • JAN’s Web Portal for Employers
    Information for employers about accommodation, legal issues, and human resources issues.
  • Tax Incentives for Businesses
    Provides information on the three tax incentives that are available to help employers cover the cost of accommodations for employees with disabilities and to make their places of business accessible for employees and/or customers with disabilities.

Related Web Pages on This Topic

 

 

Job Search

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/jobsearch.htm

The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)provides resources to help people with disabilities find employment. These resources include:

  • Directory of State Liaisons provides state contacts on disability issues in each state. The state liaisons are typically the directors of the state disability commissions, committees, or councils. The staff of these organizations can often provide information on a multitude of resources available to people with disabilities.

Job search assistance is also available through local one-stop career centers. These centers are administered by the Department of Labor’sEmployment and Training Administration (ETA). ETA also offers assistance from One-Stop Disability Coordinators.

 

 

Laws & Regulations

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/laws.htm

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is the disability-related law with which many Americans are most familiar. The ADA is better known than other disability-related laws because it applies to a far broader range of persons, organizations, and businesses than any laws that preceded or have followed it. Various titles of the ADA apply in different circumstances.

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits private sector employers who employ 15 or more individuals and employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor/management committees from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in all aspects of employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has primary enforcement responsibility under ADA Title I, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has coordinating authority under this title.

Title II of the ADA bars disability-based discrimination by, and imposes affirmative disability-related responsibilities on, public entities, including state and local governments. The Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center, a part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM), enforces Title II with regard to the programs, services, and regulatory activities of such entities relating to labor and the workforce.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination in the following four areas:

  • Section 501 prohibits federal agencies from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. It also requires these agencies to take affirmative action in the hiring, placing, and advancing of individuals with disabilities.
  • Section 503 requires contractors and subcontractors who have a contract with the federal government for $10,000 or more annually to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities. Section 503 is enforced by the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
  • Section 504 prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment and in their programs and activities. The Civil Rights Center enforces Section 504 as it relates to recipients of financial assistance.
  • Section 508 requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a federal department or agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities. The Civil Rights Center enforces the complaint provisions of this section.

Two Executive Orders, both of which are enforced by the Civil Rights Center, also prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities:

  • E.O. 11478 prohibits employment discrimination and requires affirmative action on various bases, including disability, by the federal government.
  • E.O. 13160 prohibits disability-based discrimination in education programs and activities conducted by federal agencies.

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) establishes a national workforce preparation and employment system to meet the needs of businesses, job seekers, and those who want to further their careers. Customers have easy access to information and services through the One-Stop Career Center System. The Department’s Civil Rights Center enforces Section 188 of WIA, which bars disability-related discrimination by, and imposes affirmative disability-related responsibilities on, programs and activities that are offered as part of the One-Stop service delivery system.

The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act aims to increase beneficiary choice in obtaining rehabilitation and vocational services; remove barriers that require people with disabilities to choose between health care coverage and work; and assure that more Americans with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in the workforce and lessen their dependence on public benefits. TheEmployment and Training Administration (ETA) will work to facilitate the involvement of the workforce system and participate in policy considerations which will emerge as the provisions of the law are implemented.

Veterans with disabilities are protected by the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). It requires contractors or subcontractors who have a contract with the federal government for $25,000 or more to take affirmative action to employ, advance in employment, and otherwise treat covered veterans without discrimination.

Individuals with disabilities also may be protected by their state anti-discrimination laws, some of which are more stringent than the federal laws. To learn more about rights under state laws, contact disability commissions, committees, or councils in your state.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

Related Web Pages on This Topic

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces Title I of ADA.
  • Department of Justice
    The Department of Justice enforces regulations governing public accommodations and state and local government services under ADA and coordinates enforcement of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Section 508
    The Center for Information Technology Accommodation, in the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Government-wide Policy, has developed this Web site which contains resources for understanding and implementing the requirements of Section 508.

 

 

Small Business & Self-Employment

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/selfemployment.htm

Entrepreneurship is an exciting opportunity for people with disabilities to realize their full potential while becoming financially self-supporting. Some of the benefits of self-employment or small business ownership include working at home, control of your work schedule, and the independence that comes from making your own decisions.

The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)provides information and resources about self-employment and small business ownership opportunities for people with disabilities.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

  • Entrepreneurship Service
    Provides information, counseling, and referrals about self-employment and small business ownership opportunities for people with disabilities.

 

 

Social Security

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/socialsecurity.htm

The Department of Labor does not enforce any part of the Social Security program. For information on social security, visit the Social Security Administration’s Web site.

The Department of Labor does play a role in the implementation of theTicket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA). Under this law, recipients of Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will have greater choice in getting the services and technology they need to obtain employment.

TWWIIA gives these recipients the right to choose their job training, employment placement, and other service providers from a list of providers approved by the Social Security Administration. Individuals with disabilities will receive a “ticket” which they will be able to present to an employment network provider they feel best meets their needs.

The objective of the program is to work with businesses, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, and other traditional and non-traditional service providers to prepare individuals with disabilities for work and link them with employers who want to hire qualified employees.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

Related Web Pages on This Topic

 

 

Statistics

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/statistics.htm

The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)provides limited data on employment of people with disabilities. Detailed employment statistics on the overall American workforce can be found at the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

Related Web Pages on This Topic

  • U.S. Census Bureau
    Lists the various disability-related data that are provided by the Census Bureau.

 

 

Workers’ Compensation

Site URL: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/disability/workerscompensation.htm

Individuals injured on the job while employed by private companies should contact their state workers’ compensation board. The Department of Labor does not handle workers’ compensation claims relating to private employers.

The Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers four major disability compensation programs which provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits to federal workers or their dependents who are injured at work or acquire an occupational disease.

The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, the Federal Employees’ Compensation Program, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Program, and the Black Lung Benefits Program serve the specific employee groups who are covered under the relevant statutes and regulations by mitigating the financial burden resulting from workplace injury.