EEOC/NDEAM

EEOC Issues Revised Publications on the Employment Rights of People with Specific Disabilities

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity CommisionThe U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued four revised documents on protection against disability discrimination, pursuant to the goal of the agency’s Strategic Plan to provide up-to-date guidance on the requirements of antidiscrimination laws.

The documents address how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to applicants and employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities. These documents are available on the agency’s website at “Disability Discrimination, The Question and Answer Series.”

According to the EEOC Chair, Jacqueline A. Berrien, “nearly 34 million Americans have been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, or epilepsy, and more than 2 million have an intellectual disability.” She explains that “many of them are looking for jobs or are already in the workplace. While there is a considerable amount of general information available about the ADA, the EEOC often is asked questions about how the ADA applies to these conditions.”

In plain, easy-to-understand language, the revised documents reflect the changes to the definition of disability made by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) that make it easier to conclude that individuals with a wide range of impairments, including cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities, are protected by the ADA. Each of the documents also answers questions about topics such as: when an employer may obtain medical information from applicants and employees; what types of reasonable accom­modations individuals with these particular disabilities might need; how an employer should handle safety concerns; and what an employer should do to prevent and correct disability-based harassment.