• Petitioned The Regents of the University of California

This petition was delivered to:

The Regents of the University of California
Director of the Disabled Students Program
Gary White
Governor of California
Edmund G. Brown Jr.
President of the University of California
Mark G. Yudof
University of California
Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Barbara
Henry T. Yang
California
Gov. Gavin Newsom

Lift the Ban on Hiring the Disabled

    1. Petition by

      Alexander Stern

      Santa Barbara, CA

        A University of California department has an official policy of refusing to hire any disabled person for any of the jobs they offer to students (http://advocate.as.ucsb.edu/disabled_jobs). Under this policy, the University automatically denies employment applications to people they have flagged as disabled.  After several emails and in-person meetings with supervisors, the University of California insisted it will stick with its policy because they believe the disabled are less likely to be competent employees.  These jobs are extremely simple.  For example, one of them (the “proctor” job) merely involves an employee monitoring one or a few students to see if they cheat during an exam.  Although some disabilities might make these jobs more difficult, there are numerous disabilities that have absolutely no impact on the performance of these jobs.  However, the University of California refuses to consider any disabled person (regardless of which type of disability that person has) to be qualified for these jobs.

        This policy means that a disabled veteran who sacrificed his legs for our country would be denied the chance to be considered for an unskilled job because of his sacrifice, and because of his disability.  This policy means that a young girl with cancer might have to explain to her family that her own university won’t let her apply for a job simply because she’s sick.

        After my emails and meetings, I petitioned a court to stop this discrimination. After the lawsuit was filed, the University quietly suspended the policy but they have asked a court to allow them to reinstate it. Although Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act says that public agencies cannot discriminate against the disabled, the University of California asked the Court to declare the ADA unconstitutional!  The University says it should be allowed to ban the over fifty million Americans with a disability from applying for a job, because the disabled “may be less able, due to their disabilities, to perform the essential function” of these jobs (Alexander Stern v. Regents of the University of California).

        If you walk into a room with five random strangers, one of them will have a disability.  This policy applies to that person.  Maybe it applies to you.  This policy would refuse an employment application to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Alexander Graham Bell, Representative Barbara Jordan, and Thomas Edison, because these disabled Americans were, according to the University of California, presumptively incompetent.

        If you believe that we need to move beyond these antiquated prejudices and allow our fellow Americans, including the disabled ones, to be able apply for these and other jobs, please sign this petition right now.

        Update from 5/7/2012: Today the University has stated it plans to argue to the Court that it is a "business necessity" to ban the disabled from these jobs.  In light of this shocking development, your support and signature are as important as ever.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Michelle Fayard LOS MOLINOS, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      As a UC employee labeled as disabled after my hire date, both my supervisors and personnel with the university’s Disability Management Services department have told I no longer am performing the essential functions of my position now that I must rely on written instead of verbal communications—even though I used e-mail almost exclusively to perform my responsibilities as an editor before becoming disabled. My heart and fighting spirit go out to you, Alexander; I will be following your case with hopes it receives the ruling both you and all disabled people deserve.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bruce Kimzey SHINGLE SPRINGS, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      The very idea that the University of California would seek to strike down part of the Americans with Disabilities Act as a defense to an action filed pursuant to the ADA is unfathomable. Would the University of California seek to invalidate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if an African American sued UC on the basis of discrimination? For disabled people the ADA is every bit as significant to them as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is to African Americans. This cannot and will not

      be tolerated.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kathleen Welch LOMPOC, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      I am an HR professional who is also disabled.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jasper Oenema GRONINGEN, NETHERLANDS
      • over 2 years ago

      Heej man.. You have my full support. I’m from the Netherlands and the same damn thing happens here as well. Might I add to this that this kind of reasoning can be compared with a policy of a government that ruled europe during 1939 till 1945. I know: It is hard (very hard), but it’s true.

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    • David Chao RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      The word disability is misplaced and misused, and there is no logical reason to deny one from a job for having a disability that has nothing to do with how competently they can work. The differently abled are a very common part of society and should not be denied equal opportunity through frivolous laws, but through what they are actually unable to accomplish.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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