Latest ADA Fact Sheet Aims to Dispel Myths, Enhance Diversity in Legal Profession
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued a new fact sheet addressing the application of the reasonable accommodation obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to attorneys with disabilities and their employers. The new publication is available on the agency's web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/accommodations-attorneys.html.
EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez unveiled the new fact sheet this morning during the First National Conference on Employment of Lawyers with Disabilities. The unprecedented conference, cosponsored by the EEOC and the American Bar Association, highlights best practices for hiring lawyers with disabilities and provides practical advice on how to accommodate them.
"Many legal employers recognize the importance of flexibility to remain competitive in hiring the best attorneys. Providing reasonable accommodation is an extension of this successful strategy," said Chair Dominguez. "With employers competing fiercely for talent, those who win use recruitment strategies that reach out to attorneys with disabilities."
One goal of the fact sheet is to dispel the myth that attorneys with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation are less competent or less productive than attorneys without disabilities. Reasonable accommodation refers to any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an applicant or employee with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.
The fact sheet discusses the rights and responsibilities of both legal employers and attorneys with disabilities in addressing reasonable accommodation issues. It uses many real-life examples to provide all kinds of legal employers - including law firms, government agencies, corporations, law schools, and nonprofit organizations - with specific ideas on the wide range of accommodations available for lawyers with various disabilities.
The publication, the latest in a series of recent ADA fact sheets by the EEOC, advances the goals of the President's New Freedom Initiative - a comprehensive strategy for the full integration of people with disabilities into all aspects of American life. The New Freedom Initiative seeks to promote greater access to technology, education, employment opportunities, and community life for people with disabilities. An important part of the New Freedom Initiative strategy for increasing employment opportunities involves providing employers with technical assistance on the ADA. Information about other EEOC activities under the Initiative also is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov.
In addition to enforcing Title I of the ADA, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments, and the Rehabilitation Act's prohibitions against disability discrimination in the federal government, the EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), national origin, religion, and age, as well as retaliation.
This page was last modified on May 23, 2006.
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