Additional FAQs for Federal Employers
1. What’s the difference between the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act?
Some of the distinctions related to employment have to do with administrative procedures and reporting requirements. The most fundamental difference, however, is that section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal employers to have an affirmative action plan to hire and advance individuals with disabilities.
2. I really want to hire workers with disabilities, so may I ask job applicants if they have disabilities?
The Rehabilitation Act has restrictions on disability-related questions (similar to the ADA); however, employers engaged in affirmative action may invite applicants or employees to voluntarily self-identify as individuals with disabilities. Employers must make it clear that the invitation is related to affirmative action, that self-identification is strictly voluntary, and that the information will be kept confidential. Additionally, it must be clear that self-identification will be of benefit to the individual. The individual’s choice to self-identify (or not to self-identify, even where a disability is apparent) can not be used against the individual.
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