Does a sponsor have to accept someone into the program who can’t perform the essential functions of the apprenticeship program in order to meet a utilization goal for individuals with disabilities?

Equal Employment Opportunity

No. The goal only applies to “qualified individuals with disabilities,” and the application of a utilization goal does not require or authorize a sponsor to hire an individual who is not eligible or qualified for apprenticeship.  Additionally, sponsors are not required to hire a less qualified candidate instead of the best qualified candidate for the purposes of affirmative action.

Sponsors should keep in mind that just because an individual has a disability, it does not mean that he or she is incapable of performing the essential functions of the position.  While some individuals with certain disabilities may not be able to perform some jobs, sponsors must make this determination on an individual basis and consider the ability of an individual with disabilities to perform the job with a reasonable accommodation.

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