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Old 08-31-12, 10:24 PM
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Information and Resources on Reasonable Accommodation and Disability Discrimination

Please note that while I’ve made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information in this post, it is based primarily on information obtained from other online sources, and as such, it may contain errors. Also, since laws and regulations change, it may become outdated. I am posting it for informational purposes, as a convenience. It should not be treated as authoritative and in no event should it be construed as, or substituted for, advice from a legal professional.

In the United States, federal law prohibits most employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on disability. Employers may also be required to make reasonable accommodations necessary due to an employee or applicant’s disability. Federal laws against discrimination are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Complaints can be filed with the EEOC at no cost, and without an attorney. They must be filed within a specified period of time following the discrimination complained of, which may be as little as 180 days. The law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing complaints with the EEOC.

The EEOC will investigate the complaint if it has jurisdiction over the allegations. As per their website, the following is the procedure following the investigation:
If we haven’t found a violation of the law, we will send you a Notice-of-Right-to-Sue. This notice gives you permission to file a lawsuit in a court of law. If we find a violation, we will try to reach a voluntary settlement with the employer. If we cannot reach a settlement, your case will be referred to our legal staff (or the Department of Justice in certain cases), who will decide whether or not the agency should file a lawsuit. If we decide not to file a lawsuit, we will give you a Notice-of-Right-to-Sue.

In other words, if the investigation finds a violation, they may or may not file a lawsuit on your behalf.

While many people are familiar with the EEOC, in my experience, fewer are aware that there are also state and local agencies with which complaints of employment discrimination can be filed. The vast majority of states, and many municipalities, have such agencies, which enforce state and local laws against discrimination. In some cases, state and local agencies have agreements with the EEOC to forward complaints to them, for filing under federal as well as state or local law.

While often similar, state and local laws against employment discrimination may have significant differences from federal laws, which may include broader definitions of “disability” than federal laws, or coverage of smaller employers (ie those with fewer than 15 employees). Others may only cover employees who work in the public sector. The agencies that enforce these laws may also differ from the EEOC in their procedures and authority. For example, after investigating a complaint, some agencies will conduct their own hearings for all cases supported by sufficient evidence, and assign an attorney to argue the case on the employee’s behalf at no charge. If the employee prevails at the hearing, the agency may then have the authority to directly order the employer to remedy the situation, or provide relief to the employee.

I recently discovered that it is surprisingly hard to find a current and accurate list of links to state and local equal employment agencies online, which inspired me to create my own here. There are many factors to consider in deciding whether, and where, to file an employment discrimination complaint. Guidance on the specific laws and procedures in your area may be found on the websites below, or obtained by contacting the EEOC or your local agency directly. For legal advice on a specific situation, however, it may be necessary to speak to an attorney.

The following list includes links to state equal employment agencies in every state, except Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. I was unable to find websites for state agencies in those three states. It may be that none exist, or that they do not have websites, but if anyone is aware of them, let me know, and I’ll add them.

There are only links to a few local (city/county) agencies. If you are aware of agencies that are not included, or find any inaccuracies, feel free to PM me or post them in this thread.


Alabama Department of Human Resources, Equal Employment and Civil Rights Division


Alaska State Commission for Human Rights


Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights Division


California Department of Fair Employment and Housing
San Francisco
Human Rights Commission

Colorado Civil Rights Division


Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities


Department of Labor, Division of Industrial Affairs, Office of Discrimination


Florida Commission on Human Relations


Georgia Commission of Equal Opportunity


Hawaii Civil Rights Commission


Idaho Commission on Human Rights


Illinois Department of Human Rights
Chicago Commission on Human Relations

Indiana Civil Rights Commission


Iowa Civil Rights Commission


Kansas Human Rights Commission


Kentucky Commission on Human Rights


Louisiana Commission on Human Rights


Maine Human Rights Commission


Maryland Commission on Civil Rights


Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination


Michigan Department of Civil Rights


Minnesota Department of Human Rights


Missouri Commission on Human Rights
Kansas City
City of Kansas City Human Relations Department

The Human Rights Bureau of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry


Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission

City of Omaha Human Rights and Relations Department


Lincoln Commission on Human Rights

Nevada Equal Rights Commission

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights

New Mexico

New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, Human Rights Bureau

New York

New York State Division of Human Rights
New York City

New York City Commission on Human Rights

Westchester County

Human Rights Commission
North Carolina

North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings, Civil Rights Division
(public employees only)

North Dakota

North Dakota Department of Labor, Human Rights Division


Ohio Civil Rights Commission


Human Rights Department

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, Civil Rights Division


Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
Rhode Island

Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights

South Carolina

South Carolina Human Affairs Commission

South Dakota

South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, Division of Human Rights


Tennessee Human Rights Commission


Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division


Utah Antidiscrimination & Labor Division


Vermont Human Rights Commission
(public employees)

Office of the Attorney General of Vermont, Civil Rights Unit
(private employees)


Attorney General of Virginia, Division of Human Rights


Washington State Human Rights Commission

West Virginia

West Virginia Human Rights Commission


Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Equal Rights Division


Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

Washington, D.C.

Office of Human Rights

Last edited by APSJ; 09-01-12 at 12:51 AM..
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