Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  McMahon, B.T., Roessler, R., Rumrill Jr. P.D., Hurley, J.E., West, S.L., Chan, F., & Carlson, L. (2008). Hiring discrimination against people with disabilities under the ADA: Characteristics of charging parties. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 18 122-132.
Title:  Hiring discrimination against people with disabilities under the ADA: Characteristics of charging parties
Authors:  McMahon, B.T., Roessler, R., Rumrill Jr. P.D., Hurley, J.E., West, S.L., Chan, F., & Carlson, L.
Year:  2008
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  Springer Science + Business Media
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10926-008-9133-4
Full text:  http://proxy.library.vcu.edu/login?url=http://link.springer.com/art...   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Database mining

Structured abstract:

Background:  Protections to help prevent employment discrimination of people with disabilities are provided under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, there are ongoing high unemployment rates of people with disabilities, which may be related to hiring discrimination. Thus, it is important to understand the barriers and associated dynamics in this area. This could help vocational rehabilitation professionals counsel individuals with disabilities about how to address discrimination during a job interview, improve education efforts to reduce employer stereotypes, as well as extend and enhance legal employment protections.
Purpose:  The following three questions guided this study. One, what is the prevalence of hiring discrimination allegations in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Integrated Mission Systems (IMS) database? Two, does the prevalence of allegations of hiring discrimination vary according to the type of disability identified by Charging Parties? And three, to what extent do other personal characteristics known to produce hiring bias affect the perceptions of discrimination in hiring held by people with disabilities?
Setting:  The data from the EEOC was mined and analyzed at various university settings.
Study sample:  The study sample included 19,527 ADA Title I allegations of discrimination in hiring made by people with disabilities. The comparison group 259,680 included charges from other "non hiring" allegations. Non hiring allegations included: discharge from work, constructive discharge, reasonable accommodation, disability harassment and intimidation, and terms and conditions of employment.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  The comparison group (N=259,680) included charges related to discharge from work, constructive discharge, reasonable accommodation, disability harassment and intimidation, and terms and conditions of employment.
Data collection and analysis:  EEOC investigators collect data about employment discrimination charges under the ADA. This is a complaint-driven process. All allegations, their investigatory processes and outcomes are kept in a master data base known as the Integrated Mission System or IMS. The charge data was sent to the researchers. Data related to the research questions was extracted, coded, refined and formatted in Microsoft Access using standard extraction criteria. This provided a dataset where the unit of measure is frequency of allegations. Other variables in the design included: basis of the allegation, age, gender, race. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and test of proportion. Alpha levels were set conservatively. These analyses gave Z scores and 95% confidence intervals.
Findings:  Hiring discrimination allegations were most frequently filed by individuals with impairments related to the structure and function of the back. The next most frequently reported impairment types were hearing, non-paralytic/orthopedic, vision, depression, diabetes, other psychological and missing digits/limbs. This finding was similar to non-hiring discrimination allegations. Those were filed by people with the following impairments: back, non-paralytic/orthopedic, depression, diabetes, hear/cardiovascular, other psychological and other neurological. Related to age; charging parties who filed hiring allegations were over represented in 18-21 and 66 and over age ranges. Whereas, individuals between 30 and 65 were more likely to file non hiring allegations. Related to race; charging parties who filed hiring allegations were most often white, which was similar for the non hiring allegations group. Related to gender; charging parties who filed hiring allegations 65% male and 35% female; where as the non hiring group was split 50% male to 50% female. The results supported the claim that employment discrimination is associated more with job retention than job acquisition. Hiring ranked fifth in frequency among top 5 allegations. Discharge, reasonable accommodation, terms and conditions of employment, and disability harassment and intimidation were cited more often as allegations of discrimination than hiring.
Conclusions:  People with disabilities who file hiring discrimination allegations are different from than those who file non hiring allegations. Understanding what types of individuals are most or least likely to file hiring allegations should assist rehabilitation professionals, employers and stakeholders with designing individualized interventions to reduce incidence.

Disabilities served:  Alcohol and drug abuse
Anxiety disorder
Autism / ASD
Bi-polar
Blindness
Cancer
Deafness
Depression
Diabetes
Hearing impairment
HIV / AIDS
Learning disabilities
Multiple sclerosis
Orthopedic impairments
Schizophrenia
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Visual impairment
Severe physical disability
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male