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EEOC Informal Discussion Letter

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EEOC Office of Legal Counsel staff members wrote the following informal discussion letter in response to an inquiry from a member of the public. This letter is intended to provide an informal discussion of the noted issue and does not constitute an official opinion of the Commission.

ADA/Reasonable Accommodation/Federal Government

October 27, 2014

Dear ___:

This letter responds to correspondence that you sent to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Office of the Chair and Office of Legal Counsel.  It appears that you seek assistance with a disability-based reasonable accommodation request for the U.S. State Department's foreign service examination.  Individuals who require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job must contact the prospective employer directly with their request, not the EEOC.    

You must first make a request for reasonable accommodation with the State Department. The Department may require some information from you in order to evaluate your request, including the nature of your impairment and the specific accommodation that you seek.  In some instances, it is appropriate for employers to seek limited medical information concerning the requestor's impairment and accommodation needs.  More information on the reasonable accommodation process for federal government employers under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act is available at     

If the agency denies your request and you believe this denial violates your rights under the Rehabilitation Act, you may pursue the matter further by contacting an EEO Counselor at the State Department to begin the EEO complaint process.  As an applicant for federal employment, you must file your complaint with the agency where you applied to work, not with the EEOC.  Please note that to pursue a claim against a federal agency, you must contact one of the agency's EEO Counselors within 45 days of the alleged discrimination.   

In your materials to the Office of the Chair, you also provide extensive details regarding a state law workers' compensation claim against a former private employer, and your request to settle claims by providing you with social security disability benefits.  The EEOC does not have jurisdiction over these matters.  Your worker's compensation concerns may be relevant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (, and concerns over social security disability must be raised with the Social Security Administration (     

We hope this information is helpful to you.  Please note that, since you listed an attorney as your official representative on a form that you sent to the EEOC, we have forwarded a copy of this letter to him.

Carol R. Miaskoff
Acting Associate Legal Counsel 

This page was last modified on January 28, 2015.