Disability Employment Legislation


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NCSL’s Disability Employment Database provides current information on legislative efforts in the states and territories targeting disability employment issues and related disability issues. 

This database is supported through the State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED), a U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) initiative. Through SEED, ODEP is partnering with NCSL, the Council of State Governments and Concepts Inc. to review effective practices and present policy options to state legislators to improve the hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities in both the public and private sectors. The database will serve as a resource to this effort.

Bill information for the current year is updated every morning on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. New measures are added as they are introduced or identified by NCSL staff.

Bills may appear twice in carry over states. In these states, please check the last date of action to ensure the status of the bill reflects the appropriate year.


2020 Legislative Session Enactments

The 2020 legislative session faced unprecedented challenges, as the world combated a public health crisis with the emergence of COVID-19. Despite this, policymakers continued making progress in employment for people with disabilities. At least 20 states enacted 58 pieces of legislation relating to the Work Matters policy framework, including state hiring of people with disabilities, transportation, work-based learning, and private-sector capacity building. Below are few notable examples in each policy area. For all enactments, please refer to the disability legislation employment database.

State as a Model Employer

Tennessee SB 1642: Creates a committee on competitive integrated employment for people with severe disabilities.

Utah HB 378: Requires the Department of Health to identify barriers people with disabilities face in accessing services and develop an ombudsman position proposal for the purpose of addressing these barriers.

Washington HB 1783: Establishes the Office of Equity for the purpose of promoting access to opportunity and resources which reduce disparities among historically marginalized populations. The office shall assist agencies in applying an equity lens in all aspects of agency decision making, including service delivery, program development, policy development, and budgeting.

Getting to Work

Hawaii HB 2590: Establishes within the Department of Transportation an autonomous vehicle testing pilot program and requires a recommendation of whether autonomous vehicles are ready to fully deployed in the state.

New Jersey SB 2517: Establishes a program to adopt paratransit best practices, requires greater coordination among paratransit service providers, and establishes regional paratransit coordinating councils.

New York AB 8127: Requires the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to develop criteria for the purpose of determining how to best prioritize subway stations for accessibility improvements in its capital program plan.

Preparing for Work

Florida HB 901: Requires the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to provide preemployment transition services to eligible persons with disabilities.

New Jersey SB 973: Requires Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to establish an apprenticeship mentoring program for women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.

Virginia HB 1252: Prohibits a sponsor of a registered apprenticeship program from discriminating against an apprentice or applicant for apprenticeship on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, or disability status.

Public and Private Sector Employment Strategies

Maine HP 1340: Eliminates exemptions from the minimum wage law that allow the payment of wages at less than the minimum wage rate to certain individuals with mental or physical disabilities.

This database tracks all legislation from the 2016 legislative session, including 2015 carryover legislation, and covers the following disability employment and general disability topics:

Explanation of Search Keywords

Major Disability Employment Policy Areas

Includes competitive integrated employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship, return-to-work and leave, and state procurement and supplier diversity programs.

Public and Private Sector Employment Strategies

Relates to the state as a model employer and private sector employment supports and incentives.

Workforce Readiness and Education Efforts

Includes topics such as career readiness, vocational rehabilitation, education, special education, school-to-work transitions, financial literacy and asset building.

Accessibility and Employee Supports

Includes accessible technology, workplace accommodations, disability-related transportation and health policy, housing, community-based living and independent living.

State Implementation of Federal Disability Policies

Includes topics such as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Other Disability Policy Areas

Includes policy related to specific disabilities, statutory disability terminology language changes, older workers, non-discrimination, civil rights and affirmative action.

For faster performance, please use the fields below to filter your results. If you select nothing, the default search will pick up all topics and states in the most recent session year available. The full text of bills is available by clicking on the bill number. This feature is available for bills from 2015 and later.

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Bill Number