Hiring discrimination against people with disabilities under the ADA: Characteristics of employers

Brian T. McMahon, Philip D. Rumrill, Richard Roessler, Jessica E. Hurley, Steven L. West, Fong Chan, Linnea Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: This article describes findings from a causal comparative study of the characteristics of employers against whom allegations of hiring discrimination were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) between 1992 and 2005. Methods: Employer characteristics derived from 19,527 closed Hiring allegations are compared and contrasted to 259,680 closed allegations aggregated from six other prevalent forms of discrimination including Discharge and Constructive Discharge, Reasonable Accommodation, Disability Harassment and Intimidation, and Terms and Conditions of Employment. Tests of Proportion distributed as chi-square are used to form comparisons along a variety of factors including industry classification, size of workforce, and location. Results: As compared to non-hiring allegations, hiring allegations were more likely to be filed against employers with 15-100 employees, in the West U.S. Census track region, or in industries including educational services; public administration; transportation and warehousing; professional, scientific, and technical services; agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting; and construction. Conclusion: More outreach regarding ADA responsibilities appears indicated for those employers who share the aforementioned characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-121
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was supported through the VCU Coordination, Outreach and Research Center for the National Network of ADA Resource Centers, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education (PR# H133A060087). Appreciation is extended to Dr. Ronald Edwards, Office of Research, Information and Planning, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Database support was provided by Dr. Mehdi Mansouri.


  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Disability
  • Disability discrimination
  • Employment
  • Employment discrimination
  • Hiring discrimination
  • Workplace discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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