ADA.gov United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act
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Fighting Discrimination in Employment Under the ADA

The ADA expands equal employment opportunity and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Through its work to implement the ADA, the Department of Justice is breaking down barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities.

Presidential Proclamation -- National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2015

Justice BLOG -- Breaking Down Barriers to Employment for Individuals with Disabilities

Title I of the ADA

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers with 15 or more employees, State and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) share responsibility for enforcing Title I of the ADA. Complaints alleging employment discrimination should be filed directly with the EEOC. The EEOC may bring suits against private employers, and the Department may bring suits against state and local government employers.

The Department is committed to enforcing Title I against state or local government employers.

Riverside County, California Consent Decree
On October 8, 2015, the United States entered into a consent decree with Riverside County regarding its refusal to hire an individual with epilepsy as a probation officer solely because of his condition. The consent decree requires the county to pay the applicant $50,000, offer him the position as a probation officer, provide training on the ADA and file reports on its compliance with the decree and ADA with the Justice Department.

University of Michigan Consent Decree
On July 22, 2015, the United States entered into a consent decree with the University of Michigan, regarding its failure to reassign two qualified employees as a reasonable accommodation and for engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination by requiring employees with disabilities who need reassignment as a reasonable accommodation to compete for a vacant position.

City of DeKalb, Illinois Settlement Agreement
On February 3, 2015, the United States entered into a settlement agreement which bars the City of DeKalb from conducting medical examinations or making disability-related inquiries before a conditional offer of employment is made to applicants and requires the city to conduct training, designate an individual to address ADA compliance, and make its online employment opportunities website conform with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

For a full list of current Title I enforcement actions go to ADA.gov's Enforcement page.

Title II of the ADA

Title II applies to State and local government entities and, in subtitle A, protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in services, programs, and activities provided by State and local government entities. Under Title II, state and local government entities that provide employment and vocational services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities must provide those services in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of persons with disabilities. Historically, many states have provided such employment services to individuals with disabilities in unnecessarily segregated settings, such as sheltered workshops, where individuals with disabilities work at rote tasks for sub-minimum wage with other individuals with disabilities.

Recently, the Department has reached two groundbreaking settlement agreements resolving claims that state funded and administered employment service systems violated the ADA's integration mandate. The Department is committed to continuing to enforce the integration mandate of the ADA with respect to employment services.

Lane v. Brown (formerly Lane v. Kitzhaber)
On September 8, 2015, the United States entered into a proposed settlement agreement with the State of Oregon to vindicate the civil rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who are unnecessarily segregated in sheltered workshops, or at risk of such unnecessary segregation.

U.S. v. Rhode Island
On April 8, 2014, the United States entered into the nation's first statewide settlement agreement vindicating the civil rights of individuals with disabilities who are unnecessarily segregated in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. The settlement agreement with the State of Rhode Island resolves the Civil Rights Division's January 6, 2014 findings, as part of an ADA Olmstead investigation, that the State's day activity service system over-relies on segregated settings, including sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs, to the exclusion of integrated alternatives, such as supported employment and integrated day services.

Other Government Resources

ODEP: Employment First: Framework for systems change supporting full participation of people with disabilities in employment and community life

Curb Cuts to the Middle Class: Cross-agency initiative working to increase equal opportunities and financial independence for individuals with disabilities

Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining, and Promoting People with Disabilities: Resource Guide for Employers