EEOC Publication Addresses Federal Employment for Disabled

August 29, 2008 ( - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Friday issued a new question-and-answer guide aimed at promoting the hiring and advancement in federal government employment of individuals with disabilities.

“The EEOC is doing everything it can to provide agencies with useful guidance on how to be the nation’s model employer[s], providing equal opportunity to all Americans, including those with disabilities,” Commission Chair Naomi C. Earp said in the announcement. The question-and-answer guide responds to frequently asked questions about what the law allows and requires federal agencies to do with respect to affirmative hiring and employment of individuals with disabilities.

Among other topics, the publication discusses:

  • Special regulations that allow federal agencies to hire individuals with severe disabilities who are qualified for jobs without going through the usual competitive hiring process;
  • Procedures that agencies are required to have for providing reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities;
  • Specific types of accommodations that enable people with disabilities to work in federal sector jobs;
  • How an agency’s obligations under the Rehabilitation Act interact with obligations under other federal laws and how agencies should handle reasonable accommodation issues when they enter into relationships with other entities (such as other federal agencies or private companies that provide training for agency employees); and
  • The kinds of questions that agencies may (and may not) ask about an applicant’s or employee’s disability.

The new publication is available on the EEOC’s Web site at .

In January 2008, the EEOC issued a report entitled “Improving the Participation Rate of People with Targeted Disabilities in the Federal Work Force,” which provides practical guidance on steps agencies can take to increase hiring and advancement. The report is available at .