The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued four revised guidance documents regarding protection against disability discrimination, pursuant to the goal of the agency’s Strategic Plan to provide up-to-date guidance on the requirements of antidiscrimination laws.
The documents address how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to job applicants and existing employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities. These documents are available free online on the agency’s website at:
Intellectual Disabilities: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/intellectual_disabilities.cfm
“Nearly 34 million Americans have been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, or epilepsy, and more than 2 million have an intellectual disability,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “Many of them are looking for jobs or are already in the workplace. While there is a considerable amount of general information available about the ADA, the EEOC often is asked questions about how the ADA applies to these conditions.”
The revised documents reflect the changes to the definition of disability made by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA, effective since January 1, 2009) that make it easier to conclude that individuals with a wide range of impairments, including cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities, are protected by the ADA. Each of the documents also answers questions about topics such as: when an employer may obtain medical information from applicants and employees; what types of reasonable accommodations individuals with these particular disabilities might need; how an employer should handle safety concerns; and what an employer should do to prevent and correct disability-based harassment.