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Your Legal Disability Rights
Know your rights under federal law. Read about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which protects people’s rights regarding employment, public accommodations, state and local government services, and more. Learn about special accommodations for travelers and voters. Know how to fight job discrimination.
Discrimination, harassment, and unfair treatment by managers, co-workers, or others in the workplace because of race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, transgender status, and sexual orientation), pregnancy, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information
Denial of a reasonable workplace accommodation for disability or religious beliefs
Retaliation because they complained about job discrimination, or helped with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit
Businesses and state and local governments must have at least 15 employees for EEOC involvement in most types of discrimination complaints.
For age discrimination complaints:
Businesses must have at least 20 employees.
State and local governments have no minimum number of employees.
Federal agencies are covered by EEOC laws for all types of discrimination no matter how many employees they have.
Filing a Charge with the EEOC
If you are being harassed or discriminated against, you can file a charge with the EEOC. You have 180 days from the date of the event to file a complaint. In some situations, this deadline may be extended.
Victims of discrimination or harassment can file a lawsuit. If you feel you’ve been discriminated against under federal law, you must first file a charge with the EEOC, except for cases involving unequal pay between men and women.
You may decide to sue if the EEOC can’t help you with your complaint. In either case, look for an attorney who specializes in employment law. You can check with:
IDEA calls for schools to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each child with a disability. The law requires that schools include parents who want to be involved in their child’s IEP development team.
Disability Discrimination in Education
If you feel you or your child have been discriminated against at school, file a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
You can also complain closer to home. Most education policy is made at the state or local level. Your school district or state is often the best place to start if you have questions or concerns about a policy or issue or feel your child’s educational rights have been violated.
Select your state to find contact information for its department of education, higher education agency, special education agency, and adult education agency.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights offers an online pamphlet on the rights and responsibilities of students with a disability who are preparing for postsecondary education. It explains how schools must provide certain tools to students to avoid discrimination based on disability. Students must notify schools and document their needs. Schools must offer academic adjustments or modifications to help students participate in the classroom. For example, a school may offer course reading material in alternative text such as Braille.