EEOC Proposes Revised Rules in Disability Discrimination Cases

In 2014, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) plans to focus on coordinating disability discrimination enforcement with the Department of Labor (DOL), specifically the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and the Department of Justice (DOJ). As announced in the EEOC’s regulatory agenda on November 26, 2013, the EEOC plans to issue proposed rules that will revise the procedures for filing complaints or charges of disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. 

The EEOC already has joint regulations with the DOJ to explain how federal agencies providing financial assistance should process disability-based employment discrimination complaints against entities subject to both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. However, the new proposed rules would amend these regulations to revise the definitions of certain terms and clarify the procedures for referring complaints between the agencies responsible for enforcing the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. Similarly, the EEOC plans to issue proposed rules that would revise the procedures for handling complaints of employment discrimination based on disability filed against employers holding government contracts or subcontracts, as well as complaints filed against recipients of federal financial assistance.

The EEOC expects the revisions to make the agency’s regulatory programs more effective, without imposing any regulatory costs on employers or complainants. These revisions will create consistency between these regulations and coordination among the EEOC, OFCCP, and DOJ.