The laws enforced by EEOC against disability discrimination provide job applicants and employees with four basic rights:
- The laws enforced by EEOC prohibit an employer from treating you differently, or less favorably, because you or a friend, parent, or someone else you associate with has a disability, has a history of once having a disability, or is treated as having a disability.
- The laws enforced by EEOC prohibit harassment at work by managers, co-workers, or others in your workplace based on a person's disability.
- The laws enforced by EEOC give you the right to request reasonable workplace changes to allow you to apply for a job, perform your job, have access to the workplace, or enjoy the same benefits available to other employees. We call these requests for "reasonable accommodation." Although your employer does not have to grant every request for a workplace change, it is required to carefully consider each request and whether it would be possible.
- The laws enforced by EEOC strictly limit what an employer can ask you about your health and require an employer to keep any medical information you share private, with very limited exceptions.
- The laws enforced by EEOC protect you from being punished or harassed at work because you or someone you closely associate with (for example, a relative or close friend) complains about disability discrimination. We call this your right to be protected from retaliation.
Congress recently passed a new law, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, that makes it easier for a person to establish that he or she has a medical condition covered by the law. Even with this new law, determining whether disability discrimination has occurred can be complicated. You should call the EEOC at 1-800-669-4000 if you think the law may have been violated.
A person with a disability must be able to perform the job he or she is applying for or currently holds, with or without reasonable accommodation.
If you would like more information after reading the frequently asked questions, see the EEOC's Disability Discrimination page and information about the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.