Document Type


Publication Date

January 2015


Reprinted with permission of the Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy © 2015, St. Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri.


This essay discusses recent developments concerning numerical goals for employing workers with disabilities by federal agencies and federal contractors. On May 15, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking for comments about, among other things, placing on federal agencies numerical employment goals for individuals with disabilities. On September 24, 2013, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs adopted a Final Rule that imposed on federal contractors a numerical utilization goal for employees with disabilities, a regulation that the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld against challenge in 2014. A number of legal scholars have discussed the use of numerical standards for employment of people with disabilities. This essay brings the discussion up to date by taking a close look at the new regulatory initiatives on the subject. It further suggests ways on which the yet-unformed parts of the program might develop. In particular, it notes the importance of establishing goals for the employment of people with severe disabilities by federal agencies and discusses several additional steps to promote employment of people with disabilities in the federal sector.