The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EEOC Office of Legal Counsel staff members wrote the following informal discussion letter in response to an inquiry from a member of the public. This letter is intended to provide an informal discussion of the noted issue and does not constitute an official opinion of the Commission.

Title VII, ADEA, And ADA: Hiring Discrimination, Work Opportunity Tax Credit

May 17, 2001

Re: Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Welfare to Work, and the ADA


This is in response to your April 23, 2001 letter concerning the relationship between federal equal employment opportunity (EEO) law and the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and Welfare to Work (W2W) programs. Specifically, your letter noted that your employer clients "are concerned about possible discriminatory implications if preferential recruitment selection and hiring is given to WOTC/W2W eligible applicants."

An employer extending a preference to job applicants who entitle an employer to the benefits of either WOTC or W2W, or both, does not violate federal EEO law. A fair application of both programs would provide equal job opportunities to persons belonging to all protected classes (i.e., race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, and disability). As long as an employer treats all WOTC- and W2W-eligible applicants equally, and does not extend a preference based on one of the protected classes, its participation in either or both programs should not result in any liability under federal EEO law.

Your letter asked a narrow question, which we have answered. Please note that this is not an official opinion of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this or any related matter in more detail, you may reach me at 202-663-4638, or Carol R. Miaskoff, Assistant Legal Counsel, at 202-663-4645.


Peggy R. Mastroianni
Associate Legal Counsel

This page was last modified on April 27, 2007.

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