The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              CONTACT:   Claire Gonzales
September 4, 1996                             Reginald Welch
                                              (202) 663-4900
                                              TDD:   (202) 663-4494



WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today set forth its position on the interaction between Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and state workers' compensation laws by issuing Enforcement Guidance: Workers' Compensation and the ADA.

EEOC Chairman Gilbert Casellas said, "The guidance answers the most commonly asked questions about the relationship between these laws. It provides practical instruction in the clear, readable, question and answer format favored by our stakeholders."

Among the issues the guidance addresses is whether every person who has been injured on the job and is entitled to workers' compensation has a "disability" as defined by the ADA. The guidance says no. It explains that a person with an occupational injury has a disability for ADA purposes only if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Other issues addressed in the guidance include:

The guidance further states that an employer that creates light duty positions for its employees with occupational injuries does not have to create such positions as a reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities who have not been injured on the job. It makes clear, however, that an employer that reserves vacant positions for employees who have been injured on the job must consider reassigning an employee with a disability who is not occupationally injured to such a position as a reasonable accommodation.

In addition to enforcing Title I of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments, EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

This page was last modified on January 15, 1997.

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