FEDweek

EEOC Affirmative Action Rules Address Obligations

EEOC rules on affirmative action for persons with disabilities that become enforceable January 3 require agencies to have written, easily available and understood reasonable accommodation procedures and a written explanation whenever a request for a reasonable accommodation is denied. Also under the rules:

Agencies must have sufficient staff to answer disability-related questions from applicants and members of the public and to process requests for reasonable accommodations in the hiring process and applications under the Schedule A hiring authority for those with targeted disabilities.

Agencies must inform job applicants and employees of their accessibility rights under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Architectural Barriers Act, and to explain how to file complaints under those laws.

Agencies must meet a number of other requirements designed to improve the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities in the federal workforce.

While federal job applicants and employees are not required to reveal disabilities, agencies may continue to invite them to do so if the information is to be treated confidentially and used only for affirmative action.