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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Employment Discrimination Charge Data System Research

EDI Home Disability Employment Research EEOC

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Employment Discrimination Charge Data System Research


It has been over ten years since the passage of the ADA and despite increased protections against workplace discrimination, the employment gap between people with and without disabilities remains and, according to some, is growing. Improved understanding of the ADA, accommodation and trends in discriminatory practices is needed to proactively address this continuing disparity. Statistics on the EEOC/ADA-related charges and the outcomes from these charges are available, but these statistics are not adjusted for changes in the composition of the charging parties, the nature of the charges, and changes in the labor market. Failing to do so may lead to a misinterpretation of employer and EEOC practices.

Using data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Charge Data System (CDS), we propose to analyze trends in employment discrimination charges related to the ADA and other laws. The CDS collects data on employment discrimination charges covered under Title I of the ADA, as well as data on charges related to other laws. We will use these data to explore trends over time and across the states, and investigate whether these trends are related to changes in the composition of the population with disabilities and changes in labor market conditions. The results of this research will provide researchers, advocacy organizations, policymakers, persons with disabilities and those that represent them, with a better understanding of patterns in ADA-related charges.

Overall, our research and dissemination efforts are designed to improve the understanding of the ADA and disability-related discrimination in the workplace, and to help organizations in the field better allocate their training and technical assistance resources in their efforts to improve the employment opportunities of people with disabilities.

Project Activities

Our analysis of the CDS data will address the following questions:

  • Are the number and/or nature of charges changing over time?
  • Where do difficulties continue to arise in the hiring process - for example, the application process, unfavorable applicant references, prohibited medical inquiry/exam etc?
  • Are there differences according to industry or occupation (white collar, or blue collar), on a state-by-state basis?
  • Do changes in charge levels relate to economic factors; e.g., people more often file when the economy gets worse and people lose jobs?
  • What has been the impact of the recent Supreme Court decisions on people filing charges? How has the EEOC responded to charges since these decisions were made?

Collaborating Partners

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • The law firm of Powers, Pyles, Sutter, and Verville
  • The American Association of Persons with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS)

Contact Us

Susanne M Bruyere, PhD
201 Dolgen Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853
Telephone: 607-255-9536
Fax: 607-255-2763
Email: smb23@cornell.edu

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