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Chapter I: An Overview Of Legal Requirements

This chapter of the manual provides a brief overview of the basic requirements of Title I of the ADA. Following chapters look at these and other requirements in more detail and illustrate how they apply to specific employment practices.


1.12 Coordination of Overlapping Federal Requirements

Employers covered by Title I of the ADA also may be covered by other federal requirements that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. The ADA directs the agencies with enforcement authority for these legal requirements to coordinate their activities to prevent duplication and avoid conflicting standards. Overlapping requirements exist for both public and private employers.

Title II of the ADA, enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, prohibits discrimination in all state and local government programs and activities, including employment, after January 26, 1992.

The Department of Justice regulations implementing Title II provide that EEOC's Title I regulations will constitute the employment nondiscrimination requirements for those state and local governments covered by Title I (governments with 25 or more employees after July 26, 1992; governments with 15 or more employees after July 26, 2020). If a government is not covered by Title I, or until it is covered, the Title II employment nondiscrimination requirements will be those in the Department of Justice coordination regulations applicable to federally assisted programs under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by recipients of federal financial assistance.

Section 504 employment requirements in most respects are the same as those of Title I, because the ADA was based on the Section 504 regulatory requirements. (Note that governments receiving federal financial assistance, as well as federally funded private entities, will continue to be covered by Section 504.)

In addition, some private employers are covered by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 503 requires nondiscrimination and affirmative action by federal contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance individuals with disabilities, and is enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in the U.S. Department of Labor.

The EEOC, the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice and the other agencies that enforce Section 504 (i.e., Federal agencies with programs of financial assistance) will coordinate their enforcement efforts under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, to assure consistent standards and to eliminate unnecessary duplication. (See Chapter X. )