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Legal rights and responsibilities

There are several laws, designed to protect the employment rights of individuals with disabilities, that define the responsibilities of both employers and workers with disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This federal law provides individuals with disabilities protection from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and service delivery.

Maine Human Rights Act: This Maine law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment beyond what is included in the ADA. Both the ADA and Maine Human Rights Act apply to the process of advertisement, application, interview process and employment.

The Maine Human Rights Commission enforces Maine's anti-discrimination laws.
Both laws seek to ensure that an individual with a disability has the opportunity to attain the same employment, level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are available to an average, similarly situated employee without a disability. This does not require preferential treatment to candidates with a disability or employees with a disability.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. It provides employment posters, technical assistance and training to businesses of all sizes.

Disability Nondiscrimination Law Advisor

This Advisor is designed to help employers determine which federal disability laws apply to their business or organization. The Advisor also helps businesses that receive federal financial assistance understand their responsibilities under these laws. It provides a customized list of federal disability nondiscrimination laws that may apply and links to detailed information around the requirements under these laws.