Federal Employment Opportunities Expanding for Individuals with Disabilities

The EEOC recently presented a new proposed rule designed to expand federal employment for people with disabilities. The rule, which should be finalized by this year’s end, sets forth  minimum affirmative actions that federal agencies must take for employment of individuals with disabilities. Highlights of the proposed rule and affirmative actions include:

  • 12% representation rate for individuals with disabilities in the federal agency’s workforce
  • 2% representation rate for individuals with disabilities that the government recognizes as placing the greatest barriers to employment
  • hiring goals would apply to lower and upper level federal employment
  • special assistance services to individuals with certain disabilities
Although the new rule is expected to significantly increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities at federal agencies, it will have no impact on private or governmental employers at the state or local level. Private and state governmental employers are subject to federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person’s disability, but those laws don’t go as far as the new rule. It’ll be interesting to see if the federal or state disability laws impacting private businesses and state government employers turn towards the EEOC’s proposed approach.
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