Workplace Inclusion


You have the responsibility to ensure equal opportunity for workers.

You must not discriminate against an employee or applicant because they have a disability, have a history of a disability, or are regarded as having a disability. Several federal disability nondiscrimination laws apply to people with disabilities who are qualified for jobs with covered employers in the private sector, state and local governments, and the Federal Government. 

In general, this means that you can’t: 

  • fire,
  • reject for a job or promotion,
  • give lesser assignments to,
  • force to take leave, or
  • otherwise negatively alter the terms and conditions of employment for an individual because of a disability. 


Generally, employers cannot ask disability-related questions or require medical examinations until after giving the applicant a conditional job offer. 


However, some employers who have federal contracts or subcontracts are required to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify (via an official government form) as a person with a disability at both the pre- and post-offer stage in order to comply with regulations requiring them to take proactive steps to recruit qualified people with disabilities.


Furthermore, these federal contractors and subcontractors are required to invite current employees to self-identify as a person with a disability every five years for as long as they remain a contractor. It is important to note that such invitations to self-identify are permissible only when the question is being asked for purposes of affirmative measures or is otherwise required by federal law. 


You’re obligated to provide reasonable accommodations  to help individuals apply for a job, perform their job, or enjoy the benefits of employment, unless doing so would impose undue hardship on the operation of your business. 


Discrimination based on a person’s disability may also occur when your apparently fair policies or procedures have an unintentional discriminatory effect on people with disabilities without a strong enough business justification. 

Male employee in wheelchair talking to female employee

We’re here to help.

We are committed to helping you understand your responsibilities as an employer. Many questions about your responsibilities may be answered by using the following elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors:

For additional assistance, please contact:

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP): 1-800-397-6251 or the OFCCP Help Desk

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): 1-800-669-4000 or

Need more information?

The elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors are a set of online tools developed by the U.S. Department of Labor to help employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities under federal employment laws.