The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) offers a range of resources that are aimed at helping businesses and people with disabilities to connect, while ensuring all rights to equal employment opportunities are upheld.
Here, we offer a brief guide to some of the most pertinent takeaways for employers, veterans and individuals with disabilities when it comes to navigating the U.S. legislative landscape.
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
The impact of 2014 revisions to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act means organizations with federal contracts must have at least seven percent of their workforce made up of individuals with disabilities.
With 20 percent of Americans having some sort of disability, this is a diverse group that offers significant untapped potential for employers. It is therefore a community that companies should be actively targeting within their talent acquisition efforts.
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Title I outlines the prohibition of treatment of any employee on the grounds of disability. This relates to all aspects of their employment, including hiring, promotions, job assignments, training, termination, and any other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
What does the EEOC mean for veterans?
Veteran job seekers looking to find new opportunities to work should understand the large array of existing laws and regulations that are now in place to support them in their efforts.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
USERRA protects the rights of individuals against discrimination based upon their military status or military obligations. It ensures employers must make "reasonable efforts" to support veterans to perform the duties of their position through accommodations, training and support.
Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)
VEVRAA requires that all federal contractors with a value of contracts of $100,000 or more take affirmative action to employ and advance qualified veterans with disabilities within their organization.
At the same time, there are also a number of specialist hiring authorities that may be applicable to those seeking federal government roles, which include:
The Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA) program - allows the appointment of eligible veterans to an agency without competition.
The Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) - allows veterans to apply for jobs that are only open to 'status' (current competitive service employee) candidates.
The Schedule A Appointing Authority - allows the appointment of eligible applicants who have a severe physical, psychological, or intellectual disability.
Kelley Miller, Communications and Public Affairs Specialist at EEOC, says: "The EEOC is here for all those who suffer discrimination and to support all veterans and individuals with disabilities in securing lasting and successful employment."