Federal employers and contractors may soon have new disability regulations to follow, two federal agencies have announced. Both the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have said they will issue new regulations for the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination in hiring and employment practices by the federal government and entities receiving federal funds against those with a disability.
DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs said it will this month issue long-awaited Section 503 regulations that may require federal contractors and subcontractors to implement a hiring goal for workers with disabilities. The proposed rules suggested requiring contractors to ensure that workers with disabilities make up 7 percent of their workforces. According to DOL’s spring 2013 regulatory agenda, the rulemaking also will increase data collection obligations and incorporate changes made by the ADA Amendments Act.
EEOC announced that it plans to begin reviewing its Section 501 regulations for federal employers. This section requires federal agencies and departments to be “model employers” of individuals with disabilities, the commission said in its agenda. To achieve that goal, EEOC said it intends to revise its regulations implementing Section 501 to include a more detailed explanation of how federal agencies and departments should give full consideration to the hiring, placement and advancement of qualified individuals with disabilities. “The revisions may also include goals consistent with Executive Order 13548 to increase the employment of individuals with disabilities, with a particular focus on the employment of individuals with targeted disabilities,” EEOC said. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is expected in October.
See ¶113-1 of the ADA Compliance Guide for more on federal employer and contractor responsibilities.