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Jobs and Education for People with Disabilities

Learn about employment resources on how to find a government job and prepare for a job interview. You can also find information on employment laws and how to file a workplace harassment or discrimination complaint. Also, search educational programs for students with disabilities.

Job Help for People with Disabilities

If you have a disability and you're looking for work, these resources can help.

Develop Your Work and Job-Seeking Skills

Find a Job

Job Help for Young Workers

Job Help for Veterans

Learn About Your Rights

Federal Jobs for People with Disabilities

If you’re looking for a job and have a disability, you might consider working for the federal government.

Advantages of Government Jobs for People with Disabilities

The federal government:

You can also apply for jobs through the competitive hiring process.

Finding and Applying for Federal Jobs

You can search and apply online for most jobs at USAJOBS.gov.

Apply for a Job Through an Agency

Contact the agency’s Selective Program Placement Coordinator (SPPC) for help.

College Students and Recent Graduates with Disabilities

Find summer jobs, internships, and permanent positions through the Workforce Recruitment Program.

Veterans with Disabilities

Special hiring authorities let agencies appoint vets with service-connected disabilities to jobs.

Discrimination and Harassment at Your Job

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.

Protections Included Under the Law

These laws protect employees and job applicants against:

  • Discrimination, harassment, and unfair treatment in the workplace by anyone because of:

    • Race

    • Color

    • Religion

    • Sex (including gender identity, transgender status, and sexual orientation)

    • Pregnancy

    • National origin

    • Age (40 or older)

    • Disability

    • Genetic information

  • Being denied reasonable workplace accommodations for a disability or religious beliefs

  • Retaliation because they:

    • Complained about job discrimination

    • Helped with an investigation or lawsuit

How to File an Employment Discrimination Complaint

To file a complaint, contact your EEOC field office.

Many state and local governments have anti-discrimination laws. These laws may offer extra protection beyond federal law.

Some state laws:

  • Apply to businesses with only five or six employees

  • Prohibit discrimination based on whether you're married or have children

  • Have different deadlines for filing a charge

  • Have different standards for deciding whether you're covered

Many state laws have more protections for nursing mothers than federal law requires. State labor offices enforce these laws.

Filing a Lawsuit

If you're a victim of job discrimination or harassment, you can file a lawsuit. If the discrimination violates federal law, you must first file a charge with the EEOC. (This does not apply to cases of unequal pay between men and women.)

You may decide to sue if the EEOC cannot help you. In either case, look for an attorney who specializes in employment law. You can check with:

Not All Employers Are Subject to EEOC Laws

Only employers with a certain number of employees are subject to EEOC laws. The number of employees changes depending on the type of employer and the kind of discrimination alleged.

  • Businesses, state, and local governments must follow most EEOC laws if they have 15 or more employees.

  • Federal agencies must follow all EEOC laws, no matter how many employees they have.

Laws that the EEOC Enforces

Federal employment discrimination laws include:

What is Harassment?

Harassment is unwelcome conduct based on:

  • Race

  • Color

  • Religion

  • Sex

  • National origin

  • Age

  • Pregnancy

  • Disability

  • Genetic information

It can include:

  • Offensive jokes

  • Physical assaults or threats

  • Ridicule or insults

  • Display of offensive objects or pictures

Sexual harassment may include:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances

  • Requests for sexual favors

  • Other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature

  • Offensive remarks about a person's sex

Harassment becomes illegal when:

  • It creates a hostile or abusive work environment.

  • The victim gets fired or demoted for refusing to put up with it.

Protection from Retaliation

EEOC laws protect employees and job applicants from retaliation. For example, it’s unlawful to punish people for:

  • Filing or being a witness in an EEO charge or investigation

  • Talking to a supervisor or manager about discrimination or harassment

  • Refusing to follow orders that would result in discrimination

  • Resisting sexual advances or intervening to protect others

Education Programs for People with Disabilities

Learn how to find government education programs and financial aid for people with disabilities.

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Last Updated: November 5, 2021

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