View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 26, 2000



By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.), as amended, and in order to promote a model Federal workplace that provides reasonable accommodation for (1) individuals with disabilities in the application process for Federal employment; (2) Federal employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of a position; and (3) Federal employees with disabilities to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Establishment of Effective Written Procedures to Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation. (a) Each Federal agency shall establish effective written procedures for processing requests for reasonable accommodation by employees and applicants with disabilities. The written procedures may allow different components of an agency to tailor their procedures as necessary to ensure the expeditious processing of requests.

(b) As set forth in Re-charting the Course: The First Report of the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities (1998), effective written procedures for processing requests for reasonable accommodation should include the following:

          (1) Explain that an employee or job applicant may initiate a
          request for reasonable accommodation orally or in writing.  If
          the agency requires an applicant or employee to complete a
          reasonable accommodation request form for recordkeeping
          purposes, the form must be provided as an attachment to the
          agency's written procedures;

          (2) Explain how the agency will process a request for
          reasonable accommodation, and from whom the individual will
          receive a final decision;

          (3) Designate a time period during which reasonable
          accommodation requests will be granted or denied, absent
          extenuating circumstances.  Time limits for decision making
          should be as short as reasonably possible;

          (4) Explain the responsibility of the employee or applicant to
          provide appropriate medical information related to the
          functional impairment at issue and the requested accommodation
          where the disability and/or need for accommodation is not

          (5) Explain the agency's right to request relevant
          supplemental medical information if the information submitted
          does not clearly explain the nature of the disability, or the
          need for the reasonable accommo-dation, or does not otherwise
          clarify how the requested accommodation will assist the
          employee to perform the essential functions of the job or to
          enjoy the benefits and privileges of the workplace;

          (6) Explain the agency's right to have medical information
          reviewed by a medical expert of the agency's choosing at the
          agency's expense;

          (7) Provide that reassignment will be considered as a
          reasonable accommodation if the agency determines that no
          other reasonable accommodation will permit the employee with a
          disability to perform the essential functions of his or her
          current position;

          (8) Provide that reasonable accommodation denials be in
          writing and specify the reasons for denial;

          (9) Ensure that agencies' systems of recordkeeping track the
          processing of requests for reasonable accommodation and
          maintain the confidentiality of medical information received
          in accordance with applicable law and regulations; and

          (10) Encourage the use of informal dispute resolution
          processes to allow individuals with disabilities to obtain
          prompt reconsideration of denials of reasonable accommodation.
          Agencies must also inform individuals with disabilities that
          they have the right to file complaints in the Equal Employment
          Opportunity process and other statutory processes, as
          appropriate, if their requests for reasonable accommodation
          are denied.

     Sec. 2.  Submission of Agency Reasonable Accommodation Procedures

to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Within 1 year from the date of this order, each agency shall submit its procedures to the EEOC. Each agency shall also submit to the EEOC any modifications to its reasonable accommodation procedures at the time that those modifications are adopted.

Sec. 3. Collective Bargaining Obligations. In adopting their reasonable accommodation procedures, agencies must honor their obligations to notify their collective bargaining repre-sentatives and bargain over such procedures to the extent required by law.

Sec. 4. Implementation. The EEOC shall issue guidance for the implementation of this order within 90 days from the date of this order.

Sec. 5. Construction and Judicial Review. (a) Nothing in this order limits the rights that individuals with disabilities may have under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

(b) This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, its employees, or any person.


                              THE WHITE HOUSE,
                              July 26, 2000.

# # #