ADA Title I allegations related to unlawful discharge: Characteristics of charging parties

Phillip D. Rumrill, Shawn M. Fitzgerald, Brian T. McMahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article describes findings from a causal comparative study of the characteristics of charging parties who filed allegations of discrimination related to discharge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) between 1992 and 2008. Charging party characteristics derived from 140,581 closed unlawful discharge and constructive discharge allegations were compared and contrasted to 165,447 closed allegations aggregated from four other prevalent forms of discrimination, including hiring, disability harassment and intimidation, reasonable accommodations, and terms and conditions of employment. Tests of proportion distributed as chi-square were used to form comparisons along a variety of factors, including age, gender, type of impairment, and race/ethnicity of the charging party. In comparison to nondischarge allegations, discharge-related allegations were more likely to be filed by charging parties who are male; younger (between the ages of 15 and 34); and coping with heart/cardiovascular conditions, cancer, bipolar disorder, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental retardation. People with disabilities who filed discharge allegations were comparatively less likely to be female; between the ages of 35 and 64; and White or of Asian, Hispanic, or Native American extraction. Implications for future research and HRD practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-447
Number of pages19
JournalAdvances in Developing Human Resources
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • disability
  • discharge
  • discrimination
  • employee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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