Businesses are lining up against an Obama administration proposal that would require federal contractors to hire more workers with disabilities.

The plan announced by the U.S. Department of Labor in December calls for individuals with disabilities to make up at least 7 percent of the workforce at most federal contractors. If the regulations are approved, companies could lose their government contracts if they don’t comply.

The effort, which is backed by disability advocates, is facing stark opposition from the business community. In comments to the Labor Department, companies say that finding qualified applicants with disabilities may be problematic and worry that existing workers may need to be let go in order to achieve the quota.

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What’s more, employers say that the proposed rules would be difficult to comply with since under current law they can’t ask about disability status in the hiring process.

Government officials counter that workers would be asked to self-identify, which is legal.

Despite the concerns, supporters of the Labor Department proposal say that a quota is needed because past efforts to encourage hiring of people with disabilities that did not include clear benchmarks have been largely unsuccessful at boosting employment numbers, reports The Wall Street Journal. To read more click here.

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