New from Washington: Disabled-employee Quotas for Federal ContractorsThe Obama administration is preparing to order federal contractors to meet a quota of disabled employees. To make matters worse, employers are supposed to achieve this quota without asking potential employees whether or not they’re disabled. Cato scholar Walter Olson comments in a new op-ed for the Daily Caller:
Here come the quotas, in vastly more onerous form than the old preferences, of course….Trouble is, it's illegal under the ADA for employers to ask job applicants whether they're disabled, even if the question is offered with favorable intent. So the rules contemplate a fan dance of "invited self-identification" in which workers are given repeated chances at successive stages of the hiring process to announce that they are disabled. Unfortunately for quota compliance, even after getting the job an employee may be too shy to offer such a self-identification, which means the employer may lose any "credit" for the hire. Perhaps equally frustrating, an employee hired with the quota in mind may turn out not to have any disability at all.