In 1996, the Superior Labor Court published a Regulatory Instruction (No. 7) regarding the participation of people with disabilities in public service recruitment exams organized by the Labor Courts. The measure banned the participation of people with disabilities who require intermediaries throughout the entire examination process, in clear violation of Article 7 of the Constitution, which prohibits discrimination against workers with disabilities, while also infringing on the principles of isonomy, equality and human dignity.
In 2003, the Office of the Prosecutor-General filed an ADI (Direct Action of Unconstitutionality) to overturn the regulation. At the time, it was estimated that 15% of the Brazilian population (around 25 million people) had some type of disability, according to data from the Ministry of Justice. According to the 2001 census, 60% of Brazilians with a disability had no job – and, among those who did, salaries primarily stood at less than twice the monthly minimum wage.
Conectas and the Rodrigo Mendes Association, which were admitted in the case as amicus curiae, defended the unconstitutionality of banning the participation of people with disabilities from public service recruitment exams and stated that measures like this worsen the social vulnerability of this historically discriminated group.
In their brief, the organizations presented data on the difficulty this population has accessing the job market and claimed that the full exercise of the principles of equality and human dignity requires “not only non-discrimination, but also the promotion, through compensatory measures, of material equality”.
They also evoked national and international norms on the subject, such as the Brazilian Statute of Persons with Disabilities, of 1999, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified by Brazil in 1992, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons, of 1975.
In 2012, the ADI was dismissed by the rapporteur of the case, Justice Dias Toffoli, without judgment on the merits, due to the repeal of the regulatory instruction in question – causing the case to lose its purpose.
Court: Supreme Court
Status: Dismissed by the rapporteur Justice Dias Toffoli.
- 3/21/1996 – Approval of Regulatory Instruction No. 7 by the Superior Labor Court
- 12/3/2003 – Initial petition
- 1/13/2004 – Application for admission as amicus curiae
- 9/19/2008 – Repeal of Regulatory Instruction No. 7 by the Superior Labor Court
- 2/23/2012 – Case officially dismissed