Title 42. The Public Health and Welfare
§ 12101 . Findings and purpose
§ 12102 . Definition of disability
§ 12132 . Discrimination
Title 2. The Congress
§ 1311 . Rights and protections under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title I of Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The Congress finds that--
(1) physical or mental disabilities in no way diminish a person's right to fully participate in all aspects of society, yet many people with physical or mental disabilities have been precluded from doing so because of discrimination; others who have a record of a disability or are regarded as having a disability also have been subjected to discrimination;
(2) historically, society has tended to isolate and segregate individuals with disabilities, and, despite some improvements, such forms of discrimination against individuals with disabilities continue to be a serious and pervasive social problem;
(3) discrimination against individuals with disabilities persists in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, institutionalization, health services, voting, and access to public services;
(4) unlike individuals who have experienced discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, or age, individuals who have experienced discrimination on the basis of disability have often had no legal recourse to redress such discrimination;
(5) individuals with disabilities continually encounter various forms of discrimination, including outright intentional exclusion, the discriminatory effects of architectural, transportation, and communication barriers, overprotective rules and policies, failure to make modifications to existing facilities and practices, exclusionary qualification standards and criteria, segregation, and relegation to lesser services, programs, activities, benefits, jobs, or other opportunities;
(6) census data, national polls, and other studies have documented that people with disabilities, as a group, occupy an inferior status in our society, and are severely disadvantaged socially, vocationally, economically, and educationally;
(7) the Nation's proper goals regarding individuals with disabilities are to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for such individuals; and
(8) the continuing existence of unfair and unnecessary discrimination and prejudice denies people with disabilities the opportunity to compete on an equal basis and to pursue those opportunities for which our free society is justifiably famous, and costs the United States billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses resulting from dependency and nonproductivity.
(9) Redesignated (8)
It is the purpose of this chapter--
(1) to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities;
(2) to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities;
(3) to ensure that the Federal Government plays a central role in enforcing the standards established in this chapter on behalf of individuals with disabilities; and
(4) to invoke the sweep of congressional authority, including the power to enforce the fourteenth amendment and to regulate commerce, in order to address the major areas of discrimination faced day-to-day by people with disabilities.
(Pub.L. 101-336, § 2, July 26, 1990, 104 Stat. 328; Pub.L. 110-325, § 3, Sept. 25, 2008, 122 Stat. 3554.)
The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual--
(B) a record of such an impairment; or
(C) being regarded as having such an impairment (as described in paragraph (3)).
(2) Major life activities
(A) In general
For purposes of paragraph (1), major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
(B) Major bodily functions
For purposes of paragraph (1), a major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
(3) Regarded as having such an impairment
For purposes of paragraph (1)(C):
(B) Paragraph (1)(C) shall not apply to impairments that are transitory and minor. A transitory impairment is an impairment with an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less.
(4) Rules of construction regarding the definition of disability
The definition of “disability” in paragraph (1) shall be construed in accordance with the following:
(B) The term “substantially limits” shall be interpreted consistently with the findings and purposes of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
(C) An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not limit other major life activities in order to be considered a disability.
(D) An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.
(E)(i) The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as--
(I) medication, medical supplies, equipment, or appliances, low-vision devices (which do not include ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, or oxygen therapy equipment and supplies;
(II) use of assistive technology;
(III) reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services; or
(IV) learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications.
(ii) The ameliorative effects of the mitigating measures of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity.
(iii) As used in this subparagraph--
(I) the term “ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses” means lenses that are intended to fully correct visual acuity or eliminate refractive error; and
(II) the term “low-vision devices” means devices that magnify, enhance, or otherwise augment a visual image.
(Pub.L. 101-336, § 3, July 26, 1990, 104 Stat. 329; Pub.L. 110-325, § 4(a), Sept. 25, 2008, 122 Stat. 3555.)
[Validity Called into Doubt by Klingler v. Director, Dept. of Revenue, State of Missouri 8th Cir.(Mo.) May 03, 2004]
(Pub.L. 101-336, Title II, § 202, July 26, 1990, 104 Stat. 337.)
§ 1311. Rights and protections under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title I of Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
(a) Discriminatory practices prohibited
All personnel actions affecting covered employees shall be made free from any discrimination based on--
(1) race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, within the meaning of section 703 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-2);
(2) age, within the meaning of section 15 of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 633a); or
(3) disability, within the meaning of section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791) and sections 102 through 104 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12112 to 12114).
(1) Civil rights
The remedy for a violation of subsection (a)(1) shall be--
(A) such remedy as would be appropriate if awarded under section 706(g) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(g)); and
(B) such compensatory damages as would be appropriate if awarded under section 1981 of Title 42, or as would be appropriate if awarded under sections 1981a(a)(1), 1981a(b)(2), and, irrespective of the size of the employing office, 1981a(b)(3)(D) of Title 42.
(2) Age discrimination
The remedy for a violation of subsection (a)(2) shall be--
(A) such remedy as would be appropriate if awarded under section 15(c) of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 633a(c)); and
(B) such liquidated damages as would be appropriate if awarded under section 7(b) of such Act (29 U.S.C. 626(b)).
In addition, the waiver provisions of section 7(f) of such Act (29 U.S.C. 626(f)) shall apply to covered employees.
(3) Disabilities discrimination
The remedy for a violation of subsection (a)(3) shall be--
(A) such remedy as would be appropriate if awarded under section 505(a)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794a(a)(1)) or section 107(a) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12117(a)); and
(B) such compensatory damages as would be appropriate if awarded under sections 1981a(a)(2), 1981a(a)(3), 1981a(b)(2), and, irrespective of the size of the employing office, 1981a(b)(3)(D) of Title 42.
(d) Application to unpaid staff
(1) In general
Subsections (a) and (b) shall apply with respect to--
(A) any staff member of an employing office who carries out official duties of the employing office but who is not paid by the employing office for carrying out such duties (referred to in this subsection as an "unpaid staff member"), including an intern, an individual detailed to an employing office, and an individual participating in a fellowship program, in the same manner and to the same extent as such subsections apply with respect to a covered employee; and
(B) a former unpaid staff member, if the act that may be a violation of subsection (a) occurred during the service of the former unpaid staffer for the employing office.
(2) Rule of construction
Nothing in paragraph (1) may be construed to extend liability for a violation of subsection (a) to an employing office on the basis of an action taken by any person who is not under the supervision or control of the employing office.
(3) Intern defined
For purposes of this subsection, the term "intern" means an individual who performs service for an employing office which is uncompensated by the United States to earn credit awarded by an educational institution or to learn a trade or occupation, and includes any individual participating in a page program operated by any House of Congress.
(e) Effective date
This section shall take effect 1 year after January 23, 1995.
(Pub.L. 104-1, Title II, § 201, Jan. 23, 1995, 109 Stat. 7; Pub.L. 115-397, Title III, § 302(a), Dec. 21, 2018, 132 Stat. 5321.)