Everyone Can Work
A Handbook for Employment Resources
U.S. citizens are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which outlaws discrimination in the workplace against qualified persons with a disability.
Important details of the Act:
- Employers covered by the ADA include those with 15 or more employees in the private sector, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions.
- The law covers all aspects of the employment process including recruitment procedures, hiring, training, promotion, compensation and termination.
- To be covered by the ADA, you must be considered "qualified" for the job. "Qualified" applicants/employees are able to perform tasks essential to the job either with or without accommodations.
- Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for your disability as long as the accommodations do not impose "undue hardships" (such as an unaffordable cost) on your employer.
- To receive job accommodations or take legal action under the ADA, you must first disclose your disability to your employer and provide official documentation of your disability.
If you feel you are being discriminated against:
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Generally, the EEOC must be contacted within 180 days from when the alleged discrimination takes place. However, some states allow up to 300 days to file a complaint. To file a complaint, call the nearest EEOC office. To find an office, visit www.eeoc.gov/offices.
What are employment accommodations?
According to the Code of Federal Regulation on Reasonable Accommodation (Title 29, Section 1613.704), an employer should make reasonable accommodations for any physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its program.
- Making facilities accessible to and usable by people with disabilities
- Job restructuring
- Part-time or modified work schedules
- Acquiring or modifying of equipment or devices
- Appropriately adjusting or modifying tests
- Providing readers and interpreters
For more information, visit www.gsa.gov or call 800-333-4636.
West Virginia Advocates (WVA)
WVA's mission is to protect and advocate for the human and legal rights of persons with disabilities. The program's services are confidential and free of charge. Because of limited resources, WVA cannot help everyone who requests services; however, the program's Intake Department gives information and referral to anyone who calls. WVA's acceptance of direct advocacy and legal cases is determined by a variety of criteria.
West Virginia Advocates specialize in:
- Abuse or neglect
- Discrimination in housing, transportation or education
- Denial of services, such as mental health, rehabilitation and support services, or, services of poor quality
- Problems with Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Individual Plans for Employment (IPEs) or other legally mandated programs
- Lack of accessibility to public facilities and polling places
- Denial of assistive technology devices and services
- Other violations of disability rights
For more information, visit www.wvadvocates.org or call 800-950-5250.
Client Assistance Program (CAP)
The Client Assistance Program (CAP) at West Virginia Advocates can assist you in seeking and receiving services from the Division of Rehabilitation Services or a Center for Independent Living. CAP provides information, advises on rights and responsibilities, teaches self-advocacy skills, investigates complaints, advocates the resolution of problems and helps you achieve your personal vocational and employment goals. CAP also trains groups who want to know more about their rights under the Rehabilitation Act. All services are free and confidential. For more information, call 304-346-0847.
West Virginia Human Rights Commission
The West Virginia Human Rights Commission is the state agency created by the West Virginia Human Rights Act and charged with the responsibility of working to eliminate discrimination in West Virginia. The Commission accepts and investigates claims of employment and public accommodation discrimination. For more information or to file a complaint with the Commission, visit www.wvf.state.wv.us or call 888-676-5546.
Where can I find employment resources?
Several programs, state and federal, offer resources that deal specifically with employment accommodations for individuals with disabilities. This booklet provides a list of programs and a description of the resources they provide.