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Discrimination in Employment: What to Do

If a person with a disability feels they have been discriminated against in employment in violation of the ADA, he or she should contact the EEOC. A charge of discrimination generally must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. An individual may have up to 300 days to file a charge if there is a state or local law that provides relief for discrimination on the basis of disability. However, to ensure that the individuals rights are protected, it is best to contact EEOC promptly if discrimination is suspected.

An individual may file a charge of discrimination on the basis of disability by contacting any EEOC field office, located in cities throughout the United States.

Getting Additional Assistance

In addition to directly contacting the EEOC, an individual can:

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The ADA supports the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as a quick and fair method for settling complaints without going to court. ADR is a non-judicial means of settling ADA disputes outside of the courtroom, avoiding costly and time-consuming litigation after a complaint or dispute arises. The use of ADR mechanisms is intended to supplement, not replace, other enforcement mechanisms available under the ADA. Two of the ADAs provisions, reasonable accommodation and readily achievable, have often been successfully resolved through ADR conflict-resolution strategies. ADR techniques include:

EEOC Mediation Services

The EEOC provides mediation services to those interested in using this type of ADR technique. An EEOC representative will contact the employee and employer concerning their participation in the program. If both parties agree, a mediation session conducted by a trained and experienced mediator is scheduled. While it is not necessary to have an attorney in order to participate in EEOCs Mediation Program, either party may choose to do so. If mediation is unsuccessful, the charge is investigated like any other charge. Successful mediation avoids a time consuming investigation and achieves a prompt resolution of the charge. The majority of mediations are completed in one session, which usually lasts for one to five hours.

For additional information about the mediation program at EEOC, visit EEOCs web page at or call the EEOC field office nearest you: Voice - (800) 669-4000; TTY - (800) 669-6820.

Based in part on materials from the Presidents Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and EEOC. Used with permission.

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National Assoc. of Protection and Advocacy Systems

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