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EEOC Revises Guidelines for Employment Rights of People With Specific Disabilities

Cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and intellectual disabilities are listed among the revisions.

May 17, 2013
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Related Topics: Legal Compliance, Discrimination and EEOC Compliance, Latest News
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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released on May 15 four revised documents on the employment rights of people with specific disabilities.

According to an agency news release, the documents are guidelines for the protection against disability discrimination in the workplace “pursuant to the goal of the agency’s strategic plan to provide up-to-date guidance on the requirements of anti-discrimination laws.”

The documents are intended to address how the American with Disabilities Act applies to job applicants and employees with cancer, epilepsy, diabetes and intellectual disabilities.

The revisions reflect recent changes made to the definition of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act in plain language, according to the EEOC. The new definition has been expanded to include a wide range of impairments that stem from the ones previously listed.

“Nearly 34 million Americans have been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes or epilepsy, and more than 2 million have an intellectual disability," said Jacqueline Berrien, the head of the EEOC, in a written statement. “Many of them are looking for jobs or are already in the workplace. While there is a considerable amount of general information available about the ADA, the EEOC often is asked questions about how the ADA applies to these conditions.”

All four documents cover frequently asked questions by employers such as: when an employer can obtain employee medical information, how to reasonably accommodate individuals affected by the newly included impairments, how to handle workplace safety concerns brought on by these impairments, and what an employer should do to prevent and correct disability-based harassment.

The documents can be found here.

Max Mihelich is Workforce's associate editor. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com. Follow Mihelich on Twitter at @workforcemax.

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