New Rule Would Require Agencies to Boost Hiring of Disabled Individuals

The EEOC is finalizing a rule that will require federal agencies to enact hiring policies that favor individuals with disabilities.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is finalizing a rule that will require federal agencies to enact hiring policies to increase the number of disabled federal employees that they employ.

Under the rule, federal agencies would be required to gradually increase the number of disabled individuals who have either a disability or a targeted disability as defined on OPM’s SF 256 form (self-identification of disability), which includes conditions such as deafness, blindness, partial or complete paralysis, missing extremities, disfigurement or dwarfism.

The rule would also require agencies to provide personal assistance services to disabled federal employees who require such services to be able to work. These services include helping disabled individuals perform functions such as dressing or undressing, eating, or using the restroom. The services do not include medical care and do not have to be provided by somebody with medical training.

Applicability date and cost

The EEOC estimates that the annual cost to the federal government imposed by the new rule will be between $23,151,538.70 and $70,954,568.10. However, the EEOC believes the annual economic benefit would be roughly $6.6 million.

Under the conditions of the rule, agencies would have one year to develop the capacity to meet the requirements placed upon them by the new regulations. The rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2017, and the applicability date is January 3, 2018.

A copy of the final rule is included below.

EEOC Final Rule on Hiring Individuals with Disabilities

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.