EEOC Looks to Revise Regulations Implementing Rehabilitation Act, Seeks Public Input

Monday, May 19, 2014

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that it is inviting public input on potential revisions to the regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a law that governs employment of individuals with disabilities by the federal government.

Current Section 501 regulations prohibit employment discrimination based on disability and explain the standards for determining whether discrimination has occurred. The regulations also impose a separate obligation on federal agencies to be "model employers" of individuals with disabilities, but do not explain what federal agencies must do to comply with this obligation.

The Commission is proposing to revise its regulations to include a more detailed explanation of the model employer obligation. Before it publishes a proposed regulation, however, the Commission is issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that seeks comments from members of the public on what the amended regulations should say.

The EEOC welcomes input from federal agencies, individuals, employers, advocacy groups, agency stakeholders, and other interested parties. The Commission is specifically seeking answers to seven questions listed in the announcement, such as what barriers exist to the hiring, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities in the federal government, what regulatory requirements could eliminate these barriers, and whether numerical goals should be established for the employment of people with disabilities by the federal government.  Responses to the ANPRM must be submitted by 5:00 pm EDT on Monday, July 14, 2014.

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