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e-CFR data is current as of August 4, 2020

Title 7Subtitle APart 15b → Subpart B


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 15b—NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF HANDICAP IN PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES RECEIVING FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE


Subpart B—Employment Practices


Contents
§15b.11   Applicability.
§15b.12   Discrimination prohibited.
§15b.13   Reasonable accommodation.
§15b.14   Employment criteria.
§15b.15   Preemployment inquiries.

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§15b.11   Applicability.

This subpart applies to all programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance provided by the Department of Agriculture after the effective date of this part.

[47 FR 25470, June 11, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 52139, Dec. 19, 1990; 68 FR 51342, Aug. 26, 2003]

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§15b.12   Discrimination prohibited.

(a) General. (1) No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicapped, be subjected to discrimination in employment under any program or activity receiving assistance from this Department.

(2) A recipient shall make all decisions concerning employment in a manner which ensures that discrimination on the basis of handicap does not occur and may not limit, segregate, or classify applicants or employees in any way that adversely affects their opportunities or status because of handicap.

(3) A recipient may not participate in a contractural or other relationship that has the effect of subjecting qualified handicapped applicants or employees to discrimination prohibited by this subpart. This includes relationships with employment and referral agencies, with labor unions with organizations providing or administering fringe benefits to employees of the recipient, and with organizations providing training and apprenticeships.

(4) All provisions of this subpart pertaining to employment, apply equally to volunteer service.

(b) Specific activities. The provisions of this subpart apply to:

(1) Recruitment, advertising, and the processing of applications for employment;

(2) Hiring, upgrading, promotion, award of tenure, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, right to return from layoff, and rehiring;

(3) Rates of pay or any other form of compensation and changes in compensation;

(4) Job assignments, job classifications, organizational structures, position descriptions, lines of progression, and seniority lists;

(5) Leaves of absence, sick leave, or any other leave;

(6) Fringe benefits available by virtue of employment, whether or not administered by the recipient;

(7) Selection and financial support for training, including apprenticeship, professional meetings, conferences, and other related activities, and selection for leaves of absence to pursue training;

(8) Employer sponsored activities, including those that are social or recreational; and

(9) Any other term, condition, or privilege of employment.

(c) A recipient's obligation to comply with this subpart is not affected by any inconsistent term of any collective bargaining agreement to which it is a party.

[47 FR 25470, June 11, 1982, as amended at 68 FR 51343, Aug. 26, 2003]

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§15b.13   Reasonable accommodation.

(a) A recipient shall make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified handicapped applicant or employee unless the recipient can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its program or activity.

(b) Reasonable accommodation may include (1) Making facilities used by employees readily accessible to and useable by handicapped persons, and (2) Job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, the provisions of readers or interpreters, and other similar actions.

(c) In determining pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section whether an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of a recipient's programs or activities, factors to be considered include:

(1) The overall size of the recipient's program or activity with respect to number of employees, number and type of facilities, and size of budget;

(2) The type of the recipient's operation, including the composition and structure of recipient's workforce;

(3) The nature and cost of the accommodation needed.

(d) A recipient may not deny any employment opportunity to a qualified handicapped employee or applicant if the basis for the denial is the need to make reasonable accommodation to the physical or mental limitations of the employee or applicant.

[47 FR 25470, June 11, 1982, as amended at 68 FR 51343, Aug. 26, 2003]

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§15b.14   Employment criteria.

(a) A recipient may not make use of any employment test or other selection criterion that screens out or tends to screen out handicapped persons or any class of handicapped persons unless: (1) The recipient shows that the test score or other selection criterion, as used by the recipient, is job-related for the position in question, and (2) the Secretary cannot show that alternative job-related tests or criteria are available that do not screen out or tend to screen out as many handicapped persons.

(b) A recipient shall select and administer tests concerning employment so as best to ensure that, when administered to an applicant or employee who has a handicap that impairs sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the applicant's or employee's job skills, aptitude, or whatever other factor the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the applicant's or employee's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (except where those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).

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§15b.15   Preemployment inquiries.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, a recipient may not conduct a preemployment medical examination or may not make preemployment inquiry of an applicant as to whether the applicant is a handicapped person or as to the nature or severity of a handicap. A recipient may, however, make preemployment inquiry into an applicant's ability to perform job-related functions.

(b) When a recipient is taking remedial action to correct the effects of past discrimination pursuant to §15b.8(a), when a recipient is taking voluntary action to overcome the effects of conditions that resulted in limited participation in its federally assisted program or activity pursuant to §15b.8(b), or when a recipient is taking affirmative action pursuant to section 503 of the Act, the recipient may invite applicants for employment to indicate whether and to what extent they are handicapped: Provided, That (1) the recipient states clearly on any written questionnaire used for this purpose or makes clear orally if no written questionnaire is used that the information requested is intended for use solely in connection with its remedial action obligations or its voluntary affirmative action efforts; and (2) the recipient states clearly that the information is being requested on a voluntary basis, that it will be kept confidential as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, that refusal to provide it will not subject the applicant or employee to any adverse treatment, and that it will be used only in accordance with this part.

(c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a recipient for conditioning an offer of employment on the results of a medical examination conducted prior to the employee's entrance on duty: Provided, That (1) all entering employees are subjected to such an examination regardless of handicap; and (2) the results of such an examination are used only in accordance with the requirements of this part.

(d) Information obtained in accordance with this section as to the medical condition or history of the applicant shall be collected and maintained on separate forms that shall be accorded the same confidentiality as medical records except that:

(1) Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding restrictions on the work or duties of handicapped persons and regarding necessary accommodations;

(2) First aid and safety personnel may be informed, where appropriate, if the condition might require emergency treatment; and

(3) Governement officials investigating compliance with the Act shall be provided relevant information upon request.

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