The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has updated its substance use disorder webpage. AGC members that work on construction projects under contracts with the federal government – which are typically covered by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – might find the information and resources there particularly useful. Other contractors might also find some of the resources helpful for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In a recent announcement about the update, OFCCP stated:
Under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 503), individuals with substance use disorder (including alcohol) may be considered qualified individuals with disabilities if they are no longer engaged in the illegal use of drugs and have either been successfully rehabilitated or are participating in a supervised rehabilitation program. An individual with alcohol addiction may also qualify as an individual with a disability.
An individual with a disability cannot be terminated, demoted, docked pay, or denied employment due to their condition.
OFCCP offers substance use disorder resources for federal contractors and applicants and employees to promote understanding of obligations and rights under Section 503, and promote compliance with these requirements. For example, the webpage provides promising practices for contractors and reminds applicants and employees of their right to request reasonable accommodation if they are an individual with substance use disorder who is no longer engaged in the illegal use of drugs.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Recovery-Ready Workplace Resource Hub offers resources and information for employers, employees, and the broader public on promoting recovery-ready workplaces. Employers can also learn about the benefits of recovery-ready workplaces, including: reducing turnover; improving productivity; reducing health care costs; expanding the labor force; and promoting overall worker well-being and recovery.
We encourage you to explore additional OFCCP resources and other resources from DOL:
- Disability Inclusion Starts with You: This OFCCP video explains why voluntary self-identification is beneficial and highlights our ongoing efforts to encourage greater self-identification by individuals with disabilities.
- Section 503 Regulations Frequently Asked Questions: This resource provides OFCCP’s frequently asked questions on Section 503.
- Protection and Disability Rights: This OFCCP factsheet provides individuals with information about disability rights and protection from discrimination.
- Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation: This OFCCP resource provides step-by-step information on how to request a reasonable accommodation.
- Substance Use Disorder and Work: This resource explores current studies, completed reports, programs and policies that address substance use disorders from DOL’s Chief Evaluation Office.
- Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity: This resource provides information on mental health and substance use disorder benefits protected by the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, as well as rights in the workplace, treatment options, guidance and more, from DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.
For more info, visit OFCCP’s Substance Use Disorder Webpage.