A pre-employment inquiry about a disability is allowed if required by another federal law or regulation such as those applicable to veterans with disabilities and veterans of the Vietnam era. Pre-employment inquires about disabilities may be necessary under such laws to identify applicants or clients with disabilities in order to provide them with required special services. An employer also may ask an applicant to self-identify as an individual with disability when the employer is voluntarily using this information to benefit individual with a disability.
Federal contractors and subcontractors who are covered by the affirmative action requirements of section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 may invite individuals with disability to identify themselves on a job application form or by other pre-employment inquiry, to satisfy the section 503 affirmative action requirements. Employers who request such information must observe section 503 requirements regarding the manner in which such information is requested and used, and the procedures for maintaining such information as a separate, confidential record, apart from regular personnel records.
The ADA does not require employers to develop or maintain job descriptions. However, a written job description that is prepared before advertising or interviewing applicants for a job will be considered as evidence along with other relevant factors. If an employer uses job descriptions, they should be reviewed to make sure they accurately reflect the actual functions of the job. A job description will be most helpful if it focuses on the results or outcome of a job function, not solely on the way it is customarily is performed. A reasonable accommodation may enable a person with a disability to accomplish a job function in a manner that is different from the way an employee who does not have a disability may accomplish the same function.
For possible additional resources, please see our resources page or contact the Rocky Mountain ADA Center through our Technical Assistance Form or calling directly at 800-949-4232.
The Rocky Mountain ADA Center is not an enforcement agency nor does it provide advocacy services. The information and materials provided by the Center is intended solely as informal guidance and are not a determination of your legal rights or responsibilities. All communication with the Center is strictly confidential.