Disability Issues

Since 1973, numerous laws and regulations have been enacted and promulgated to protect individuals with disabilities.  Among those laws are:

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability in the private sector and in state and local governments. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.

Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability in the federal government. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against individuals with disabilities (IWDs), and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these individuals.

Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) of 1974

VEVRAA prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against protected veterans, and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these veterans.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

Effective - November 21, 2009.

This law makes it illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Genetic information includes information about an individual's genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual's family members, as well as information about any disease, disorder or condition of an individual's family members (i.e. an individual's family medical history). The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

This section provides updates regarding the disability rights laws and best practices for compliance professionals. Information about changes to the laws or regulations governing protections for individuals with disabilities are also available in EEO Tips, on the AAAED Blog, news stories found at the bottom of the webpage or via the AAAED Listserv. 

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