Employment

The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Maine Human Rights Act make it unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities in employment. Disability Rights Maine is committed to ensuring equal opportunity and fair employment practices for employees and job seekers with disabilities.  DRM attorneys represent qualified individuals with disabilities who have been discriminated in employment, including

In addition to legal representation, Disability Rights Maine provides advocacy, training, and public policy reform in employment.  DRM employment advocates  provide work incentive assistance to SSDI and SSI beneficiaries who need vocational rehabilitation, employment services, and other supports to secure or regain employment.  DRM is also an active participant in the Employment First Maine Coalition, and is a leading advocate in the effort to phase out the payment of sub-minimum wages to workers with disabilities. In addition to our advocacy and public policy work, our attorneys offer ADA trainings to people with disabilities, state and local government officials, employers, and public accommodations regarding the requirements of state and federal disability laws.


Work Early, Work Often


The National Youth Transitions Center developed a series of videos (with captions), Work Early, Work Often, which "highlight the importance of work and work-based experiences in an individual’s transition to adulthood, particularly for young adults with disabilities." Watch the 3-part series below.


 Resources

DOJ Guidance

In December 2017, the US Dept. of Justice rescinded 25 guidance documents.  Shortly thereafter, the New York Times archived these documents and made them available on the cloud. 

Below is the list of documents that are available for viewing by clicking the link below:

  1. ATF Procedure 75-4. 
  2. Industry Circular 75-10. 
  3. ATF Ruling 85-3. 
  4. Industry Circular 85-3. 
  5. ATF Ruling 2001-1. 
  6. ATF Ruling 2004-1.
  7. Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative Guidelines (2013).  
  8. Northern Border Prosecution Initiative Guidelines (2013).  
  9. Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants Program Guidance Manual (2007). 
  10. Advisory for Recipients of Financial Assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice on Levying Fines and Fees on Juveniles (January 2017). 
  11. Dear Colleague Letter on Enforcement of Fines and Fees (March 2016). 
  12. ADA Myths and Facts (1995).
  13. Common ADA Problems at Newly Constructed Lodging Facilities (November 1999).
  14. Title II Highlights (last updated 2008).
  15. Title III Highlights (last updated 2008).
  16. Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business (July 1996).
  17. ADA Business Brief: Service Animals (April 2002). 
  18. Prior Joint Statement of the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Group Homes, Local Land Use, and the Fair Housing Act (August 18, 1999). 
  19. Letter to Alain Baudry, Esq., with standards for conducting internal audit in a non-discriminatory fashion (December 4, 2009). 
  20. Letter to Esmeralda Zendejas on how to determine whether lawful permanent residents are protected against citizenship status discrimination (May 30, 2012). 
  21. Common ADA Errors and Omissions in New Construction and Alterations (June 1997). 
  22. Common Questions: Readily Achievable Barrier Removal and Design Details: Van Accessible Parking Spaces (August 1996). 
  23. Website guidance on bailing-out procedures under section 4(b) and section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (2004).  
  24. Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers (May 2002).
  25. Statement of the Department of Justice on Application of the Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C. to State and Local Governments' Employment Service Systems for Individuals with Disabilities (October 31, 2016).


New York Times, December 2017

DOJ Statement on Application of the Integration Mandate of Title II of the ADA & Olmstead to State & Local Governments’ Employment Service Systems for Individuals w/ Disabilities

"The statement, which was issued last year, described the obligations of states to administer their employment services for people with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate."

(Rescinded by DOJ on December 21, 2017)

Center for Public Representation, December 2017

Benefits Counseling Services Fact Sheets


Maine Medical Center's Benefits Counseling Services Program has developed a series of fact sheets for individuals who receive Social Security Disability and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits.  A list of these resources is below.  To view/download this information, please visit Maine Medical Center's Benefits Counseling Services page


Work Incentives for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Fact Sheets

  • Trial Work Period (TWP)
  • Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE)
  • TWP & Self-Employment
  • EPE & Self-Employment
  • Self-Employment Work Incentives to Lower NESE
  • Impairment Related Work Incentives (IRWE)
  • Subsidy & Special Conditions
  • Extended Medicare Coverage
  • SSDI & MaineCare Coverage
  • Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits
  • Ticket to Work & Self Sufficiency
  • Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND)

Work Incentives for Supplemental Security (SSI) Recipients Fact Sheets

  • SSI & MaineCare Coverage
  • Self-Employment & SSI
  • Impairment Related Work Incentives (IRWE)
  • Blind Work Expenses (BWE)
  • Student Earned Income Exclusion
  • Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS)
  • Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits
  • Ticket to Work & Self Sufficiency
  • Long Term Care MaineCare Waiver


If you have questions about these fact sheets, or have difficulty downloading the files, please contact Maine Medical Center's Department of Vocational Services by calling 207.662.2088 or 888.208.8700 (toll-free).

Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining & Promoting People with Disabilities: A Guide for Employers

This resource guide is a product of the Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative, a federal cross-agency effort working to increase equal employment opportunities and financial independence for individuals with disabilities. The Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative includes
participation by agencies across the federal government, including the Department of Education, Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of Veterans Affairs, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Council
on Disability, Office of Personnel Management, and the Social Security Administration. (Version 2, published February 3, 2015)

JAN's Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR)

Employment Rights for People with Disabilities

A Basic Guide to Laws Protecting People with Disabilities from Discrimination in the Workplace

This manual is intended to provide a simple yet informative overview of the legal rights of individuals with disabilities in employment. The manual focuses on the two primary laws that provide civil rights protections for people with disabilities in Maine: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA). Many of the protections afforded by each of these laws are overlapping, but this manual highlights important differences.

This manual is not a substitute for legal advice. For specific questions or assistance with particular issues, please contact Disability Rights Maine.

A Basic Guide to Self-Advocacy

This manual is intended to provide a simple yet informative overview of how to be a self-advocate. This manual is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have specific questions or need assistance with a particular issue, please contact Disability Rights Maine.

 Trainings & Upcoming Events

 News

 Systemic Work

​ADA Rights Trainings


DRM Managing Attorney Kristin Aiello and State ADA Accessibility Coordinator Eric Dibner recently teamed up to present a series of ADA rights trainings at the Maine Career Centers serving Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, & Somerset Counties. The Maine CareerCenters are a statewide network that provide a variety of employment and training services at no charge for Maine workers and businesses.  Attorney Aiello and Mr. Dibner provided training on topics including the definition of “disability” under the ADA and the Maine Human Rights Act, accessibility, what employers can and cannot ask, modifications, reasonable accommodation, harassment, retaliation and  effective communication. Trainings were provided on February 3 at the Wilton Career Center; on February 9 at the Lewiston CareerCenter; on February 23 at the Skowhegan CareerCenter and on March 3,  at the Augusta CareerCenter.