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Federal Equal Opportunity Employment Laws

The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws outlaw specific job discrimination
applicable in certain workplaces (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n, d).
Discuss notes on the : Federal Equal Opportunity Employment Laws.


The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws outlaw specific job discrimination
applicable in certain workplaces (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n, d). The
civil rights centre together with the Office of the Federal Contract Compliance Programs in
department of labour deal specifically with the issues of Equal Employment Opportunity
The possible violations of the EEO laws stem from the recent Supreme Court ruling (Sutton
v. United Airlines, 1999, p.482) where the court turned down Sutton sisters argument on the
basis that the ADA does not apply to individuals whose disability does not affect major life
activity and which can be effectively corrected using applicable corrective measures. The
Sutton sisters were pilots in United Airlines and were dismissed on grounds of failing
eyesight. A condition that could have been effectively corrected using contact lenses.
In the case of Complainant v. Department of Defence, EEOC Appeal No. 01941890 (May 2,
1994). The appellant appealed to the commission concerning unlawful employment
discrimination that was contrary to Section 501 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act that was later
amended to 29 USC§791etseq. The appeal question was whether the appellant was dismissed
by the agency on failure to state the claim. The appellant claimed that she was unlawfully
discriminated when the agency refused to employ as teacher due to her pregnancy that she
described as a temporary disability (Allbright, 2010). The determinants whether a case falls
within the EEO purview are 1). Was the complainant an aggrieved employee 2) whether the
employment discrimination is included in the provisions of EEO (Hobson v Department of
the Navy, EEOC Requests No. 05891133 (March2, 1990). The failure by the agency to

Federal Equal Opportunity Employment Laws 3
appoint her as a teacher was enough ground to declare her as an aggrieved employee. The
Supreme court reversed the decision of the Agency and the Agency was ordered to process
the applications in accordance with the provisions of section 29 CFR§1614.108. The Judges
in the case of Complainant v. Department of Defence, EEOC Appeal No. 01941890 (May 2,
1994) stated that;
“An employee is “aggrieved” if she has suffered direct and personal deprivation
at the hands of the employer…Appellant’s allegation regarding the agency’s
failure to select her as a teacher is sufficient to render her an aggrieved employee.
Because, as discussed above, appellant has alleged that the adverse action was
based on discrimination because of her pregnancy, she has raised an allegation
within the purview of the EEOC regulations. Accordingly, the agency’s decision
to dismiss appellant’s complaint for failure to state a claim was improper and is
REVERSED. Appellant’s complaint is REMANDED to the agency for further
processing in accordance with this decision and applicable regulations” pg. 2

The ruling in the case of Sutton sisters (1999) and the appellant in the of Complainant v.
Department of Defence, EEOC Appeal No. 01941890 (May 2, 1994) showed that the
provisions of the American’s with Disability Act has been widely misinterpreted specifically
the part that deals with protection of fundamental rights that are guaranteed by the law. In the
case of Sutton (1999) the Supreme Court based its interpretation of the ADA act on
congressional finding that about 43 million Americans have physical or mental impairment.
In his ruling, Justice O’Connor’s interpretation was that the Congress intended the ADA
(American’s with Disability Act) to cover only a limited number of employees and not more
that 160 million who practically had other health implications. The definition of disability
under the ADA means a disadvantaged person by an employer because of physical or mental

Federal Equal Opportunity Employment Laws 4
disability and who are entitled to claim protection under the ADA statute (Parry & Allbright,
2008). The restrictive limits that were placed on the ADA act by the Supreme court would
mean that the provisions of the Social Security disability programmes would come under
focus the eligibility of the ADA would become analogous. The misconception would create a
scenario where the society would be divided into two groups, those with disabilities and those
ones without. Just as much as the American’s Civil Rights Act does not apply to race but
discrimination so does the ADA apply to disability but discrimination.
It’s important to understand the provisions of the current EEO in order to implement the
objectives of the ADA in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination in work places. The
other reason is to reject the reasoning of the Supreme Court in Sutton v. United Airlines, Inc,
527 US 471 (1999) together with its coverage in the third prong which defines and reinstates
the courts in the Supreme Court in the School Board of the Nassau County v. Arline, 480 U.S.
273 (1987).
As in the case of Toyota Motor Manufacturing v. Williams, 534 U.S. 184 (2002), the
conditions that were forwarded for rejecting the grounds as disability were erroneous as the
limited functions that the employees engaged in for personal survival were interpreted to
mean that the employees were functionally normally and the question of disability could not
arise. Such cases would mean that even the basic functioning that employees may engage in
such as slight movement or personal training maybe used to dismiss a disability case on the
basis that they posses no disability.

Federal Equal Opportunity Employment Laws 5


Appellant v. Department of Defence (1994) EEOC Appeal No. 01941890 r
Allbright, A. L. (2010). 2009 employment decisions under the ADA Title I: Survey update.
Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter, 34, 339-343.
US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (n, d) Preserving Access to the Legal
System: Common Errors by Federal Agencies in Dismissing Complaints of
Discrimination on Procedural Grounds
Supreme Court in the School Board of the Nassau County v. Airline, 480 U.S. 273 (1987)
Parry, J. W., & Allbright, A. L. (2008). The ADA Amendments Act of 2008: Analysis and
commentary. Mental & Physical Disability Law Reporter, 32, 695-697.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing v. Williams, 534 U.S. 184 (2002)

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