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Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (August 31, 2013)

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

For more information on these articles, go to www.dol.gov/crc.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Final Rules to Improve Employment of People with Disabilities and Veterans

The U.S. Department of Labor issued two final rules to improve the employment of people with disabilities and veterans. The rules update requirements under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws require federal contractors and subcontractors to affirmatively recruit, hire, train and promote qualified people with disabilities and veterans, respectively. Enforced by the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the rules will become effective 180 days after their publication in the Federal Register.

Treasure Island Job Corps Center Welcomes Assistant Secretary Martinez to Graduation Ceremony

Addressing graduates, families, friends and faculty at the August 23 graduation ceremony at the Treasure Island Job Corps Center in San Francisco, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez spoke about her experiences growing up with a disability, and the people who influenced and supported her in achieving her goals. Martinez encouraged graduates to challenge low expectations, aspire for greatness and lead by example, and to seek out mentors and act as mentors for others.

ODEP Signs Memorandum of Agreement with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, and Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), signed a Memorandum of Agreement between their organizations on August 26. The collaboration will focus on advancing the employment of people with disabilities and helping them achieve financial security. Said Martinez, “Through this agreement we will ensure that those most at risk of abusive financial practices have access to the resources they need to make informed financial choices.”

U.S. Census Bureau Offers Webinar on the American Community Survey — September 4, 1:00-2:30 PM EDT

The U.S. Census Bureau will host a webinar on September 4, 1:00-2:30 PM EDT, called “Introduction to the American Community Survey.” Participants will learn about the detailed demographic, social, economic, and housing statistics that the American Community Survey (ACS) provides for every community every year. The webinar will also highlight the basics of the yearly estimates and datasets produced from the ACS, resources available on the Census Bureau website, and how to access statistical products via American FactFinder.

Help shape federal strategies to assist employers in creating a diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Employers: What Can We Do? Join the Conversation for Change on September 9-11, 2013

Help shape federal strategies to assist employers in creating a diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities.

Employers and other interested stakeholders are invited to participate in an online Employer Dialogue being sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The dialogue will be centered around the main question, “What services do you need to facilitate the hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities?”

Employers, human resource and diversity professionals, and all others with expertise and insight into disability employment issues are encouraged to participate in the Employer Dialogue by submitting ideas and comments and/or voting on others’ ideas and comments. Submissions will be accepted 24 hours a day, using an online crowdsourcing tool. Together, these contributions will help inform ODEP’s work going forward.

The Employer Dialogue is being facilitated through ODEP’s ePolicyWorks initiative and will be moderated by ODEP’s Employer Policy team.

To register and participate, visit:

http://EmployerDialogue-ePolicyWorks.ideascale.com

Office of Disability Employment Policy Announcement: New Rules to Encourage Employment of Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Earlier today, Vice President Biden announced two new rules that represent an historic advance for veterans and individuals with disabilities. By strengthening longstanding regulations under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, the new rules will ensure that qualified workers have more meaningful opportunities to find, secure and keep good jobs.

For the first time, these rules provide metrics — management tools that inform decision-making and provide real accountability — to measure federal contractors’ progress toward achieving equal opportunity for people with disabilities and protected veterans.

The VEVRAA rule requires contractors to establish an annual hiring benchmark, either based on the national percentage of veterans in the workforce (currently 8%), or based on the best available data and factors unique to their establishments.
The Section 503 rule establishes an aspirational 7% utilization goal for the employment of individuals with disabilities.
The rules will also facilitate the success of companies that do business with the federal government, by increasing their access to a large, diverse pool of qualified workers.

The need for these rules is clear – unemployment for certain veterans and persons with disabilities is disproportionately high.

Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, who have given so much to serve their country, should be able to find employment – yet the annual unemployment rate for post-September 2001 veterans is higher than the rates for all veterans and for nonveterans.
The unemployment rate for working-age people with disabilities in 2012 was 15%, compared with a rate of 8% for working age individuals without disabilities. This substantial disparity persists despite years of technological advances that have made it possible for many people with disabilities to apply for and successfully perform a broad array of jobs.
Being a federal contractor is a privilege — one that comes with the reasonable expectation to abide by the law and provide equal employment opportunity to all workers. Today’s new rules make those expectations clearer and more meaningful.

The rules will be published shortly in the Federal Register and will take effect 180 days later. You can read the Final Rules on the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/VEVRAARule/ and http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/503Rule/. There you can also find other information about the new rules.

OFCCP will continue to work with all stakeholders to promote opportunity and access for millions of workers across thousands of workplaces as the new rules are implemented. Introductory webinars will be held this week (with repeats in September) to provide overviews of the key points of the rules. You can register for these webinars below.

We look forward to spreading this good news, and encourage you to share it through your communication channels as well.

*******************

Webinars on the VEVRAA Final Rule

August 29, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern) – http://www.dol.gov/find/vevraa-1

OR
September 11, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern) – http://www.dol.gov/find/vevraa-2

OFCCP Webinars on the Section 503 Final Rule – PLEASE CHOOSE ONE

August 30, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern) – http://www.dol.gov/find/section503-1

OR
September 18, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern) – http://www.dol.gov/find/section503-2

Office of Disability Employment Newsletter (August 23, 2013)

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

ODEP Releases Soft Skills to Pay the Bills Video Series and Discussion Guide on DVD

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has released its Soft Skills to Pay the Bills video series on DVD. It includes a discussion guide that can be used to promote dialogue about the situations depicted in the videos. The videos are based on the Soft Skills to Pay the Bills curriculum, which focuses on teaching workforce readiness skill to youth, including youth with disabilities.

Job Accommodation Network Offers Publications in Spanish

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides an extensive library of technical assistance materials in Spanish on its “JAN en español” pages. Included are documents in the Effective Accommodation Practices Series, the Accommodation and Compliance Series, and the Consultant’s Corner newsletter. Also featured is a section for entrepreneurs.

Employer Assistance and Resource Network Pens Article in Ability Magazine

In an article entitled “Creating Accountability for Diversity Initiatives,” the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) highlights best practices for benchmarking activities that focus on disability inclusion as an aspect of overall diversity efforts. The article also notes that establishing metrics and holding managers accountable for hiring practices is an effective way to promote demographic change.

Disability Management Employer Coalition and Cornell Present Study on the Aging Workforce

The Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) and Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute (EDI) in the Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) School have released a collaborative study entitled “Absence and Disability Management Practices for an Aging Workforce.” The paper examines the aging workforce from the perspective of disability management professionals. More than 500 employers and more than 250 disability management service suppliers participated in the study.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (August 16, 2013)

Friday, August 16th, 2013

For more information regarding any of these articles, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

 

Assistant Secretary Martinez Highlights Return-to-Work Strategies

Speaking to nearly 150 New York Life Insurance employees on Aug. 8 in New York City, at an event hosted by the National Business and Disability Council at The Viscardi Center and New York Life Insurance’s Employee Resource Group, Enable, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez stressed the benefits to employers of return-to-work strategies. “For both employers and the insurance industry, these strategies can have great pay-offs,” said Martinez. “Returning employees to work with the appropriate supports is typically more cost-effective than recruiting and training new employees.”

Ticket to Work Program to Host Self-Employment Webinar on August 28, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

The Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program will be hosting a free webinar centering on self-employment through the Ticket program on August 28, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT. SSA’s team of disability benefits experts will present a Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar titled “Working for Yourself with Ticket to Work: Achieving Financial Independence.” This informative session is ideal for people age 18 through 64 who receive disability benefits and are interested in employment. The webinar provides an overview of the Ticket to Work program and will discuss various tools for achieving financial independence through self-employment. Immediately following this webinar, SSA will host a Facebook question and answer session.

ODEP Offers Professional Development Opportunity for Youth Service Professionals

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment (ODEP), in collaboration with the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD-Youth), has announced free professional development training for partnering organizations in three communities. Sites selected will receive professional development and technical assistance to strengthen youth service professionals’ competencies for working with all youth, including those with disabilities. More information is available on the Youth Service Professionals’ Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Professional Development Demonstration and Evaluation page on the NCWD-Youth website. Applications are due August 31, 2013.

LEAD Center to Present Webinar on Customized Employment and Self-Employment on August 28, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

The LEAD Center will hold a free webinar on “Promoting Leadership: Cross-Agency Approaches to Advance the Use of Customized Employment and Self–Employment Strategies” on August 28, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT. The webinar will focus on reasons and strategies for aligning resources across systems to support the implementation of Discovery, Customized Employment, and Self-Employment. Participants will learn how state agencies can adopt policies and service delivery strategies that support these innovations, as well as how a cross-agency approach to blending and braiding available funds can enhance services for the individual job seeker and enhance return on investment for all agencies.

Governor Jack Markell Interviewed on the EARN | Exchange Blog

In an interview on the EARN | Exchange blog, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Chair of the National Governors Association, discussed his new plan to improve hiring for individuals with disabilities. He offered his thoughts on creating the “Blueprint for Governors: A Better Bottom Line for Employing People with Disabilities” as well as his ideas for a long term strategy. The “Blueprint for Governors” is based on collected practices from the public and private sectors.

USBLN® 16th Annual Conference & Expo Set for September 30-October 3

The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) 16th Annual Conference & Expo, “Lights, Camera, Access: Spotlight on Disability Inclusive Diversity,” will be held on September 30-October 3 in Los Angeles, CA. The USBLN® is the only business-to-business national membership organization, with local affiliates, that focuses on sharing and developing proven strategies for including people with disabilities in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The event will feature high-profile keynote speakers, over 35 cutting-edge educational sessions, and exciting interactive programming. Over 600 professionals from across the country are expected to attend, including representatives from corporate America, Business Leadership Networks, disability-owned business enterprises, and non-profit, state, and federal agencies.

Justice Department Settles Immigration-related Discrimination Claim Against SOS Employment Group

Friday, August 16th, 2013

U.S. Department of Justice press release dated August 14, 2013:

The Justice Department today reached an agreement with SOS Employment Group, based in Salt Lake City resolving claims that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The department’s investigation confirmed allegations made by a work-authorized individual that SOS Employment Group had, at both initial hire and when subsequently re-verifying the refugee’s employment authorization, rejected the employee’s valid driver’s license and unrestricted Social Security card and required him to produce a Department of Homeland Security Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  The department’s investigation further determined that SOS Employment’s documentary demands were based on the individual’s status as a non-U.S. citizen.  The anti-discrimination provision of the INA, prohibits employers from using discriminatory documentary policies, procedures or requirements based on citizenship status or national origin when initially determining or subsequently re-verifying an employee’s authorization for employment.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, SOS Employment Group has agreed to pay $9,157.50 in back pay to the victim and $1,200 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo Justice Department training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for a period of one year.

“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision requires that the statute’s employment eligibility verification requirements be implemented in a nondiscriminatory manner without regard to citizenship status or national origin,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights.  “The Civil Rights Division is fully committed to vigorously enforcing this important component of the INA.”

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.  For more information about protections against employment discrimination under the immigration laws, call the OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), call the OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), sign up for a no-cost webinar at www.justice.gov/about/osc/webinars.php , email osccrt@usdoj.govor visit the website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc

 

Justice Department Settles Immigration-related Discrimination Claim Against Forever 21

Friday, August 16th, 2013

U.S. Department of Labor press release dated August 14, 2013:

The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with Forever 21 resolving allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it rejected a work-authorized individual’s Department of Homeland Security-issued Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and required her to produce a Permanent Resident Card (commonly known as a “Green Card”) as a condition of employment.  The individual, who was employment-authorized as an applicant for permanent residence, was unable to work following the rejection of her EAD.  The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from discriminating in the employment eligibility verification process by demanding specific documents or rejecting acceptable documents based on citizenship status or national origin.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Forever 21 has agreed to pay $1705.50 in back pay to the individual and $280 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo Justice Department training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for a period of one year.

“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision requires that the INA’s employment eligibility verification requirements be implemented in a nondiscriminatory manner without regard to citizenship status or national origin,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights.  “The Civil Rights Division is fully committed to vigorously enforcing the anti-discrimination provision’s protections against discriminatory documentary practices.”

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.  For more information about protections against employment discrimination under the immigration laws, call the OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), call the OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), sign up for a free webinar at www.justice.gov/about/osc/webinars.php , email osccrt@usdoj.gov or visit the website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc .

Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel Offers Valuable Guidance on Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Below is a current listing of technical assistance letters written by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) in response to some real-world immigration-related issues being faced by private employers, government agencies, and staffing companies. These letters address issues such as pre-screening applicants for English-only job requirements, requiring graduation from a university or college in the United States, and use of e-Verify among many other issues.

To view the text of these letters, each of which is only 2 to 3 pages in length, go to http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/htm/techletters.php.

Fiscal year covers the period of October 1 thru September 30.

Fiscal Year 2013

Non-Discriminatory Practices During the Form I-9 Verification and Re-Verification Process

August 13, 2013 (General contractor requiring subcontractor’s employees to present original I-9 documentation)
November 1, 2012 (whether employer may ask for different documents if document presented does not appear to be genuine)

Citizenship Status Discrimination

August 6, 2013 (requiring a university degree from a U.S. university to be selected for employment)

Other

May 30, 2013 (whether employer may share its I-9 Forms with private vendor that performs check-issuing service and needs to verify identity of employees)
April 9, 2013 (whether a federal agency can prefer a U.S. citizen over equally qualified non-citizen)
April 4, 2013 (whether it is a discriminatory practice to change an applicant’s last name when submitting name for criminal background check purposes)
February 25, 2013 (national origin and citizenship status discrimination in hiring in connection with ITAR and EAR)
November 1, 2012 (constructive knowledge and dishonesty policy)

Fiscal Year 2012

Non-Discriminatory Practices During the Form I-9 Verification and Re-Verification Process

January 5, 2012 (requesting documentation outside of the list of acceptable documents)
December 28, 2011 (using two different employment eligibility re-verification processes depending on employee’s change of citizenship status)
December 1, 2011 (when employer may lawfully re-verify or request additional documentation from an employee)

Pre-Employment Inquiries and Pre-Screening

August 21, 2012 (whether software company can request visa status from jobseekers and provide visa information to employers inquiring about applicant’s legal right to work in U.S.)
May 18, 2012 (whether employer faces liability when refusing to accept valid EAD from applicant based on actual knowledge that an individual is not work-authorized)
May 2, 2012 (how staffing companies should respond to employers who make discriminatory staffing requests based on citizenship status)
March 28, 2012 (whether employer can base hiring decisions on ability to read, write and speak English)
February 6, 2012 (using acceptable language for job postings in which employer can only consider U.S. citizens)
December 22, 2011 (whether employer may narrow the list of accepted documents in order to prove U.S. citizenship of applicant)

Social Security Number No-Match

October 14, 2011 (whether employer may re-verify employee’s work authorization when a discrepancy between employee’s name and Social Security number arises)
October 26, 2011 (what actions employers must take when employee’s Social Security card, originally thought to be valid, later appears fraudulent)

Other

September 10, 2012 (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as related to discrimination concerns)
August 21, 2012 (whether employer may require Social Security numbers for an “electronic payroll system”, even though Social Security numbers are not required for employment eligibility)
May 30, 2012 (how to determine whether lawful permanent residents are protected against citizenship status discrimination)

Fiscal Year 2011

Non-Discriminatory Practices During the Form I-9 Verification and Re-Verification Process

August 18, 2011 (whether new employees, previously employed by company’s subcontractor, must complete new Forms I-9)
August 2, 2011 (whether employer may retain copies of E-Verify photo matching tool documents, but not retain copies of other I-9 documents)
July 1, 2011 (whether employer may shorten list of acceptable documents in Section 2 of the Form I-9 based on the employee’s citizenship status)
March 18, 2011 (whether electronic employment verification processing software can request information about employee’s EAD or F-1 or J-1 status)
January 24, 2011 (whether employer discriminates by requesting documents beyond Form I-9 requirements to prove job creation as EB-5 Visa holder)
October 6, 2010 (discussing I-9 documentation used to comply with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and related questions)
October 4, 2010 (discriminatory I-9 practices with regard to invalid Puerto Rican birth certificates)

Pre-Employment Inquiries and Pre-Screening

December 22, 2010 (automated recruitment software inquiring about applicant’s legal right to work in the U.S.)

Social Security Number No-Match

August 29, 2011 (whether Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) can be used to verify employment eligibility)
July 1, 2011 (permissible employer action if employee is not able to resolve Social Security Number no-match within a reasonable period of time)
April 27, 2011 (question about OSC’s “no-match” guidance and permissible employer action when employee with no-match provides new Social Security number)

E-Verify

August 19, 2011 (whether a union can encourage or require members to use E-Verify Self-check)
July 22, 2011 (whether contractor may ask for E-Verify related documentation from employees of subcontractor)

Other

July 26, 2011 (whether employer can legally terminate employee who lied on application regarding future need of employer sponsorship)
July 22, 2011 (whether contractor may ask for E-Verify related documentation from employees of subcontractor)
December 22, 2010 (legality of subcontractors furnishing its I-9 forms and their attachments to general contractors)

Fiscal Year 2010

Non-Discriminatory Practices During the Form I-9 Verification and Re-Verification Process

June 22, 2010 (whether employers must re-verify seasonal employees who are laid off and return to work the next season)
June 10, 2010 (whether an employee’s Form I-9 should be maintained in an employee’s file)
June 10, 2010 (internal I-9 audit and honesty policy)
March 29, 2010 (acceptable documents for Form I-9)
March 24, 2010 (when Form I-9 can be completed)
March 23, 2010 (employer responsibilities with respect to employee who present temporary evidence of employment authorization in the Form I-9 process)
February 3, 2010 (employer anti-discrimination obligations when responding to a “Notice of Suspect Documents” issued by ICE)
December 23, 2009 (whether completion of new I-9 Form for LPR cancels employer’s obligation to re-verify employment authorization where LPR originally presented foreign passport and Machine Readable Immigrant Visa (MRIV))
December 4, 2009 (standards for conducting internal audit in a non-discriminatory fashion)

Pre-Employment Inquiries and Pre-Screening

September 27, 2010 (employer advertising that it will not employ persons who require visa sponsorship)
August 19, 2010 (contractor requiring assigned employees of subcontractor to be U.S. citizens)
July 2, 2010 (whether an employer may terminate a non-immigrant visa holder who lies on the application about authorization to work in the U.S. on an unrestricted basis)
June 29, 2010 (pre-hire questions that make clear that an employer will not hire applicants who require sponsorship for nonimmigrant visas as well as applicants holding an “open market Employment Authorization Document”)
December 29, 2009 (employer’s ability to implement an “Identity Theft I.D. Quiz” for prospective or newly hired employees to prevent identity fraud)

Social Security Number No-Match

June 10, 2010 (use of SSNVS to verify Social Security number)
March 25, 2010 (state agency notification to employer of Social Security number mismatch for employee)
March 3, 2010 (city and county notification to employer of Social Security number mismatch for employees)

E-Verify

April 21, 2010 (whether employer can terminate employee who fails to take action following receipt of E-Verify TNC)
March 17, 2010 (when a federal contractor may rely on previously completed Form I-9 to run E-Verify query)

Other

June 10, 2010 (internal I-9 audit and honesty policy)
July 22, 2010 (whether employers should provide employees’ Forms I-9 to state welfare agencies that request them)
April 29, 2010 (honesty policy)
December 1, 2009 (whether employers are required to post OSC’s “You Have the Right to Work” poster at work sites)

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (August 9, 2013)

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Assistant Secretary Martinez Celebrates Workforce Recruitment Program Award Winners

At an awards ceremony held on August 2, five federal interns from the Workforce Recruitment Program were honored for their outstanding work this summer. The WRP is co-sponsored by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Department of Defense. In her remarks, Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy called the students “the best of the best” and commended them for their impressive efforts on the job. Martinez was joined in her congratulations by Clarence Johnson, Equal Opportunity director in the Department of Defense, and D. Michael Collins, director of the Office of Minority and Women’s Inclusion at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which hosted the event.

National Governors Association Chair Releases Blueprint for Governors for Employment of People with Disabilities

At the National Governors Association’s 105th Summer Meeting on August 2, NGA Chair Delaware Governor Jack Markell released “A Blueprint for Governors” as part of his initiative “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities.” The initiative “looks at ways both state government and businesses can partner to bring opportunities to individuals with disabilities in the competitive labor market,” said Markell. The blueprint document focuses on five key areas to help states advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Archived LEAD Center Webinar on Using Discovery to Identify Employment Goals Now Available

A recorded archive of the LEAD Center webinar “Promoting Employment – Discovering Your Potential: Using Discovery to Identify Your Employment Goals” is now available. The webinar provides information on how to use Discovery – an alternative assessment tool proven to identify the strengths of job seekers with and without disabilities – to discover personal employment goals. The webinar and presentation materials are on the LEAD website.

National Disability Institute Holds “My American Dream” Contest

National Disability Institute has announced its third annual My American Dream – Voices of Americans with Disabilities Video Contest. The challenge is to create a three minute video that shows the steps the contestant is taking towards their American dream. The grand prize includes $1,000, a digital tablet, and access to a mentor to help fulfill the dream. The deadline for entries is September 10, 2013.

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep/newsletter.

NELP Challenges Use of FBI Criminal Background Checks for Employment and Licensing

Friday, August 9th, 2013

In a July 2013 report titled, Wanted: Accurate FBI Background Checks for Employment, Reward: Good Jobs, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) cautions that the “rapidly increasing” use of FBI background checks for employment and licensing purposes is problematic because information gathered during these checks is often incomplete, outdated, and/or incorrect. Moreover, NELP states, based on its research, “African Americans are especially disadvantaged by the faulty records because people of color are consistently arrested at rates greater than their representation in the general population, and large numbers of those arrests never lead to conviction.” Until reliability of FBI records improves, NELP reminds potential employers and government agencies that, by law, job seekers must be given notice and an opportunity to respond to any adverse information from a criminal background check where that information would result in an adverse employment action (i.e. termination, non-selection, non-promotion, and the like). For a complete discussion of NELP’s findings and recommendations, go to www.nelp.org/site/issues.