One of the primary priorities of the federal government is increasing employment rates for individuals who suffer from disabilities, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As a result, the EEOC has implemented a new rule that sets forth § 501 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Federal agencies have been given regulations that explain what they must do to comply with their legal obligation to focus on affirmative action for the employment of those with disabilities. These regulations provide that the federal government must act as a “model employer” for disabled individuals. These regulations, however, are not imposed on individuals within the private business sector or state/local governments.
What is the purpose of these regulations?
The EEOC’s intention in setting forth these regulations is to ensure that the federal government is playing an active role in the employment of disabled individuals. There are now accommodation procedures and a process for seeking out qualified job applicants who do suffer from disabilities. The goals are to have federal agency workforces with 12 percent individuals who have disabilities and 2 percent with “targeted” disabilities.
These “targeted” disabilities are those that the government has placed an emphasis on hiring because they pose substantial barriers to employment, including:
- Mental illness
- Convulsive disorders
Additionally, these regulations require the federal agencies to give personal assistance to employees who need them in order to perform common human activities at work, including accommodations for eating and using the restroom. With this in place, the individuals with disabilities will be able to have the benefits of paid employment while being able to actually function on the job with their limitations.
A benefit will be the reduction of the amount the taxpayer will spend on benefits provided to the disabled. If you have questions and need guidance, speak with our DC federal employment lawyer at John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law. Call us today to pursue the best possible result.