U.S. Department of the Interior

Office of the Secretary

Washington, D.C. 20240

June 5, 2002


TO: Bureau and Office Equal Opportunity Officers

FROM: E. Melodee Stith, Director, Office for Equal Opportunity

SUBJECT: Final Rule to Implement Section 501 Amendment

Increasing employment of individuals with disabilities is one of the goals of Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and Title I and selected sections of Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 501 prohibits the federal government, as an employer, from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA applies similar prohibitions to the private sector and state and local government employers. To promote consistent and full enforcement of these two laws, Congress amended section 501 in 1992 to adopt the employment nondiscrimination standards of the ADA. EEOC's new rule deletes certain sections of the old section 501 regulation at 29 CFR 1614.203, and inserts new language to cross-reference the EEOC's existing ADA regulation at 29 CFR 1630.

This rule is consistent with President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative in that it continues "the movement towards full integration of individuals with disabilities" into the workforce and promotes full compliance with section 501.

Distribution: All Bureau/Office Equal Opportunity Officers

Inquiries: Mercedes Flores, Chief of Staff, Office for Equal Opportunity

Expiration: When superseded