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.
Department of Justice to Resume the Issuance of Right-to-Sue Notices for Title VII, ADA, and GINA Referrals in August 2020
Statement by Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband (August 2020)
Department of Justice Temporarily Halts the Issuance of Right-to-Sue Notices Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic
Statement by Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband (May 2020)
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.
United States v. Mark Bissoon, Caroline County Commissioner of the Revenue, in his official capacity - Resolves lawsuit alleging that the Commissioner of the Revenue for Caroline County, Virginia, discriminated against an employee with a respiratory impairment by denying her request for reasonable accommodations without an interactive process and then terminating her. Under the agreement, the employee will receive $75,000 in back pay and compensatory damages; the defendant and the county human resources manager will attend a presentation on title I of the ADA; and, if the defendant has enough employees to be a covered entity during the agreement’s term, the defendant will revise reasonable accommodations policies, provide training on the ADA, and file periodic reports with the department on the agreement’s implementation.
United States v. Spencer East Brookfield Regional School District -- Alleged discrimination against a paraprofessional with knee and shoulder impairments on the basis of her disability. The complaint alleges that the School District terminated the 16-year employee and denied her reasonable accommodation request that, due to her physical limitations, she be excused from a new policy requiring paraprofessionals to be trained to physically restrain school children and be available to perform restraints.
The settlement agreement resolves the complaint that the School District terminated a paraprofessional with knee and shoulder impairments after denying her reasonable accommodation request that, due to her physical limitations, she be excused from a new policy requiring paraprofessionals to be trained to physically restrain school children and be available to perform restraints. The settlement agreement requires the defendant to revise its policies to ensure compliance with the ADA, train staff, and file periodic reports with the Department on implementation of the agreement. The School District will pay $85,699.49 in back pay and compensatory damages to its former employee.
Lanier Technical College, Georgia – re: discriminatory reduction in hours and termination of part-time employee based on disability due to multiple sclerosis (11/4/19)
York County, South Carolina -- re: (1) failure to provide a reasonable accommodation during the application process to a job applicant with dwarfism, and (2) use of employment qualification standards or other selection criteria (driver’s license) to screen out an individual with a disability or a class of individuals with disabilities.
City of Minneapolis, Minnesota -- re: refusal to hire a veteran based on his disability (PTSD) as well as a pattern or practice of discrimination requiring job applicants for police officer positions to provide genetic information during the pre-employment examination process.
City and County of Denver -- re: failure to provide reasonable accommodations for a Deputy Sheriff with insulin-dependent diabetes
City of New Albany, IN -- re: disability discrimination based on the City of New Albany Police Department and Merit Commission’s release of an employee’s confidential medical information, including details about his disability, to the public and press
United States of America v. City of Philadelphia, PA – re: employer failed to consider reassignment for a sanitation worker who had a heart attack and subsequently was placed on a 20-pound lifting restriction, and instead terminated the employee (2/3/17)
Consent Decree (2/17/17)
For a full list of current Title I enforcement actions go to ADA.gov's Enforcement page.
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.
Memorandum of Understanding Regarding ADA and GINA Employment Discrimination Charges against State and Local Governments
Joint Document by the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (7/23/15)
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