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DJ 202-PL-125

JUN 4 1992

Mr. James D. Harris Deputy Attorney General Department of Law and Public Safety Office of the Attorney General Legal Affairs Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex CN 081 Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0081 Dear Mr. Harris: This is in response to your letter requesting information about the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation and it is not binding on the Department. You inquire what obligations state governments have with respect to nondiscrimination in employment under the ADA. As you recognize, Title I applies to the employment activities of state employers and goes into effect on July 26, 1992 for employers with 25 or more employees and on January 26, 1994, for employers with 15 to 24 employees. Title II, which became effective on January 26, 1992, prohibits discrimination in all of the programs, activities, and services of public entities. Title II also covers the employment practices of public entities, regardless of the number of employees. As you note, the Department's Title II regulations incorporate Title I standards for employment practices covered under Title I. 28 C.F.R. S 35.140(b)(1). Title II and its implementing regulations, became effective on January 26, 1992. However, until Title I becomes effective for an employer, the standards for employment practices under Title II will be the same as those under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. cc: Records Chrono Wodatch Magagna.PL.125 arthur T. 6/3/92 01-00872 ​ -2-

Section 504 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability. It has been in effect for many years and applies to all programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance as many state entities do. The Department has recently published a Title II Technical Assistance Manual. I have enclosed a copy. I hope this information will be of assistance to you. Sincerely, Joan A. Magagna Deputy Director Office of the Americans with Disabilities Act 01-00873 ​ STATE OF NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ROBERT J. DEL TUFO LEGAL AFFAIRS ALEXANDER P. WAUGH, JR. ATTORNEY GENERAL COUNSEL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL LEGAL AFFAIRS DIRECTOR ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL March 30, 1992 John L. Wodatch, Director Office on Americans with Disabilities Act United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division PO Box 66118 Washington, DC 20035-6118 Re: Written Opinion Americans With Disabilities Act

Dear Mr. Wodatch: I am writing on behalf of the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey to request a written opinion on the application of Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) to the New Jersey Division of State Police prior to July 26, 1992, the effective date of that title. There is some confusion about the proper interpretation of Section 35.140(b)(1) of the Department

of Justice regulations implementing Title II of the ADA. We have been informed by some sources -- mistakenly I believe, -- that this sub-section provides that the EEOC's Title I regulations are incorporated into Title II and thereby apply to State governments as of January 26, 1992. Having read the materials relied on, it is my belief that this language is more properly interpreted to mean that until a State government is covered by Title I of the ADA on July 26, 1992, the Title II employment non-discrimination requirements applicable are those in the Department of Justice coordination regulations applicable to federally-assisted programs under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. While this Act and Title I may be similar in many respects, there are distinct differences. By way of background, you should note that the New Jersey State Police has been under a hiring freeze for the past three and one-half years. Recently, this hiring freeze was lifted by the Governor. Consequently, we are now beginning reprocessing of RICHARD J. HUGHES JUSTICE COMPLEX * CN 081 * TRENTON, NJ 086250081 * 609-984-6996 NEW JERSEY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER 01-00874 ​John L. Wodatch, Director Office of Americans With Disabilities March 30, 1992 the original group which was put on hold due to the hiring freeze. This selection process must begin now while we have a commitment to fund the academy training and a preliminary commitment in the Governor's budget to provide for the salaries of these academy graduates in fiscal year 1993. We plan to begin the selection process on or about April 24, 1992 with the physical agility test. The training academy then is set to begin on August 23, 1992 and run through January 21, 1993. For the reasons stated above, the State Police cannot afford to revamp its entire process at this late date in order to meet all the requirements of Title I of the ADA. Again, I do not read Title I of the Act as requiring this; rather, it is my interpretation that the Division of State Police is not bound by Title I of the ADA until July 26, 1992. We have already begun to examine the process to make sure that the next academy class will meet all the requirements of Title I of the ADA.

In light of the above, please advise in writing as soon as possible whether the New Jersey State Police will be bound by Title I of the ADA prior to July 26, 1992. Again, it is my interpretation of the statute and regulations that the crucial date remains July 26, 1992, which will be after the selection process for the next academy class has been completed. Time is of the essence; a response at your earliest convenience would be appreciated. If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at 609-984-1695. Very truly yours, James D. Harris Deputy Attorney General c Robert Del Tufo New Jersey Attorney General Frederick P. DeVesa First Asst. Attorney General 01-00875