Defining Independent Contractor Protection Under the Rehabilitation Act
Hamline Law Review, Vol. 34, p. 435, 2011
33 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 14, 2012
The federal circuits currently are split over whether the Rehabilitation Act protects independent contractors from employment discrimination. Some courts have held that it does not, reasoning that the Rehabilitation Act’s incorporation-by-reference from title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of “[t]he standards used to determine whether this section has been violated” also incorporated the ADA’s limitation of protection to employees only. Other courts have held that the ADA “standards” incorporated into the Rehabilitation Act include only the substantive standards for determining what conduct violates the Rehabilitation Act, not the definition of who is covered. This Article argues that the latter interpretation is more persuasive, both because it is most consistent with the Rehabilitation Act’s statutory language and because it is consistent with the expanded protection afforded to disabled employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA).
Keywords: rehabilitation, disability, independent, contractor, employee, ADAAA
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