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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Disability Resources

Employee Rights

Individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination in employment primarily by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides information about these laws. However, ODEP does not enforce these laws.

The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires federal contractors and subcontractors with government contracts in excess of $10,000 to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities. Additionally, OFCCP has coordinating authority under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits job discrimination by employers against qualified individuals with disabilities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has primary authority for enforcing the employment-related provisions of the ADA, which are found in Title I. Most government contractors are covered by both Section 503 and Title I of the ADA.

OFCCP also enforces the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). Some disabled veterans are covered under this law. If a covered disabled veteran believes he or she has been discriminated against by a federal contractor or subcontractor, he or she may file a complaint with OFCCP.

The Department’s Civil Rights Center (CRC) enforces the employment-related provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 504 covers organizations and entities that receive federal financial assistance from DOL. CRC also enforces Title II of the ADA as that title applies to the labor- and workforce-related practices of state and local governments and other public entities. Finally, CRC enforces Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), which bars disability-based discrimination by programs and activities that are part of the One-Stop employment and training system established by WIA Title I. See the Laws & Regulations subtopic for specific information on these laws.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

Related Web Pages on This Topic

  • Civil Rights Information from Disability.gov
    Information about employment, housing, transportation, and many other rights afforded to people with disabilities.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
    The EEOC enforces Title I of the ADA.
  • Department of Justice
    The Department of Justice enforces parts of the ADA and coordinates enforcement of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Section 508.gov
    This Web site, developed by the Center for Information Technology Accommodation in the U.S. General Services Administration's Office of Governmentwide Policy, contains resources for understanding and implementing the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.