The Department of Labor's Office of Disability
Employment Policy (ODEP) seeks to increase employment opportunities for
people with disabilities by expanding access to training, education, employment
supports, assistive technology, integrated employment, entrepreneurial
development, and small-business opportunities. The agency also builds
partnerships with employers and state and local agencies to increase awareness
of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, and to facilitate the use
of effective strategies. ODEP does not enforce any laws.
ODEP has created a Web site,
which provides one-stop online access to resources, services, and information
available throughout the federal government. The site also seeks to promote
awareness of disability issues to the general public.
The Department's Office of Federal Contract
Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act,
which requires federal contractors and subcontractors with government contracts
in excess of $10,000, to take affirmative action to employ and advance in
employment qualified individuals with disabilities. Additionally, OFCCP has
coordinating authority under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA), which prohibits job discrimination by employers with 15 or more
employees against qualified individuals with disabilities. The
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has primary authority for
enforcing the employment provisions of ADA. Most government contractors are
covered by both Section 503 and the ADA.
The OFCCP also enforces the
Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment
Assistance Act (VEVRAA), which prohibits employment discrimination against
certain categories of veterans by federal contractors. Some disabled veterans
are covered under this law.
The Department's Employment and Training
Administration (ETA) provides grant programs and other services to enhance
the employment opportunities of people with disabilities.
The Department's Civil Rights
Center (CRC), a part of the Office of the Assistant
Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM), enforces several
federal disability nondiscrimination laws, including Sections 504 and 508 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 prohibits disability-based
discrimination by, and imposes affirmative disability-related responsibilities
on, recipients of federal financial assistance, as well as federal programs and
activities; the CRC enforces the law as it relates to recipients of financial
assistance from DOL.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that electronic and
information technology be accessible to people with disabilities; the CRC
enforces the complaint provisions of that section. The CRC also enforces
Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), which prohibits
disability-based discrimination by programs and activities that are offered as
part of the One-Stop service delivery system established by WIA Title I. Title
II of the Americans with Disabilities Act contains similar provisions
applicable to public employers; CRC is responsible for enforcing Title II with
regard to "all programs, services, and regulatory activities" of organizations
"relating to labor and the work force."
The CRC also is responsible for enforcing two Executive Orders:
E.O. 11478, which prohibits employment discrimination and requires affirmative
action on various bases, including disability, by the federal government; and
E.O. 13160, which prohibits disability-based discrimination in education
programs and activities conducted by executive departments and agencies.
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