Affirmative action hiring for the disabled

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]: “The proposed rule…would require federal agencies to adopt the goal of achieving a 12% representation rate for individuals with disabilities, and a 2% representation rate for individuals with targeted/severe disabilities.” [Workplace Prof] Comments are open through April 25.


  • And how are companies supposed to figure this out when it’s against federal law to ask someone in an interview if the person has a disability?

    • I believe this particular round is for federal agencies as distinct from companies, though the question remains equally interesting in either case.

  • I see a coming explosion in the number of Americans with disabilities. This is because more and more people will be defined as “disabled” in order to meet this requirement. Whole categories of things now only vaguely recognized as issues will be swept into “disabled”. Social anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, restless-legs syndrome; you got these, now you’re disabled.

    And in their quest to meet the Five-Year Production Plan goals, even more things will be declared indicative of disability. Wear thick glasses? Visual impairment! Can’t climb stairs quickly (because you’re fat)? Mobility impairment! Heartburn from spicy food? Digestive disorder! Can’t manage to add two numbers together and get the same answer twice? Cognitive impairment!

    And, of course, these definitions will be applied to vast swathes of Americans who will now be counted as “disabled”, giving us even more reason to insist that the ADA be applied to grind down all distinctiveness into a flat, bland, gray soup.

    • uh, the ADAAA already took care of making everyone over age 35 disabled under the law. It’s really a joke.

  • Where did they get the 12% and 2% numbers? Where is the evidence that that’s even close to the actual population stats?

  • I worked extensively in the retail industry’s lobbying efforts for the ADA in 1989 until its passage. All proponents of the legislation assured all who inquired that if the law passed, it would never require affirmative action. I pointed out that the same assurances were made before passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but was told my fears were misplaced. As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s Deja vu all over again!”