You have a right to be treated equally regardless of a disability. Several Federal disability nondiscrimination laws apply to people with disabilities who are qualified for jobs with covered employers in the private-sector, state and local governments, and the Federal Government.

Generally, your employer is prohibited from discriminating against you in the hiring process by requiring information about your disability or requiring a medical exam before giving you a job offer. However, some employers who have Federal contracts or subcontracts are required to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify (via an official government form) as a person with a disability at both the pre- and post-offer stage in order to comply with regulations requiring them to take proactive steps to recruit qualified people with disabilities. Furthermore, these Federal contractors and subcontractors are required to invite current employees to self-identify as a person with a disability on a periodic basis. It is important to note that such invitations to self-identify are permissible only when the question is being asked for affirmative action purposes.

Discrimination based on a person’s disability may also occur when your employer’s apparently fair policies or procedures have an unintentional discriminatory effect on people with disabilities without a strong enough business justification.

You have a right to reasonable accommodation to help you apply for a job, perform your job, or enjoy the benefits of employment, unless doing so would impose undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.

You have the right to file a complaint or a Charge of Discrimination, participate in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit, or oppose harassment or discrimination without being retaliated against by your employer.

What this means for you

Employers are not allowed to discriminate against you based on the fact that you:

  • have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities,
  • have a record of having a disability,
  • are regarded as having a disability, or
  • have a relationship with a person with a disability.

Examples of discrimination

In general, this means that you cannot be:

  • fired,
  • rejected for a job or promotion,
  • given lesser assignments,
  • forced to take leave, or
  • otherwise disciplined

because of a disability.

Questions? We’re here to help.

We are committed to helping you understand your rights as a worker. Many questions about your rights may be answered by using the following elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors:

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) work together to coordinate investigations of complaints.

For additional assistance, please contact:

Learn about filing a complaint

We’ll help you decide what to do next and determine whether filing a complaint is the best course of action. You must file a complaint within a certain timeframe to take further legal action, so it is best to begin the process early.

Please note that it is illegal for your employer to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise retaliate against you for reporting an issue to the OFCCP or EEOC.

File with OFCCP File with EEOC