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Archive for April, 2014

Federal Protection Against National Origin Discrimination

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has established a National Origin Working Group to help citizens and immigrants better understand and exercise their legal rights. If you think you, or somone you know, has been discriminated against because of national origin and want to learn more about exercising your legal rights, you should read this brochure.

Worker Hotline: 1-800-255-7688 • Employer Hotline: 1-800-255-8155

For more information, go to http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/htm/worker.php.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (April 25, 2014)

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

For more information on any of the following articles, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

ODEP Signs Strategic Alliances

The US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has signed two alliances with organizations committed to increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. On April 24, leaders of the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) visited ODEP to renew their alliance and discuss activities for the coming year, including efforts to educate federal contractors on recent regulatory updates. Then, a new partnership was forged on April 25 when the Youth Transition Collaborative and the Center for Health Care Transition Improvement (Got Transition) signed their first formal alliance with ODEP. Working together as the Employment and Health Care Transition Alliance for Youth, Young Adults, and Young Veterans with Disabilities and Chronic Health Conditions, this alliance will provide stakeholders with information, technical assistance and resources to help build the capacity of regional and national organizations to empower youth and young veterans with disabilities to create a self-directed path to integrated employment. “ODEP’s Alliance Initiative is so important, especially when you consider the fact that we’re operating in a truly exciting era of disability employment policy,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez.

Job Accommodation Network Publishes New Consultants’ Corners

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has released two issues of its informational publication, Consultants’ Corner, in which a JAN consultant addresses a specific topic related to workplace accommodations or legislation. In one Consultants’ Corner, Melanie Whetzel, M.A., provides an in-depth look at “Interviewing Tips for Applicants with Autism Spectrum Disorders.” The other Consultants’ Corner, penned by Linda Carter Batiste, J.D., covers the topic “Does the ADA Apply to Foreign Employment?”

It Starts with You – Blog by Janet Froetscher of the Special Olympics

In a blog titled “It Starts with You,” cross-posted to the Department of Labor blog site from the Disability.gov blog, Janet Froetscher, chief executive officer of the Special Olympics, tells the story of Paul Marretti. Marretti is an exemplary employee with a wide range of interests, who also has an intellectual disability. While he is highly successful in his job, Froetscher points to a recent Special Olympics survey that reveals that only 44% of adults with intellectual disabilities are in the labor force. In order to change those numbers, Froetscher asserts, everyone must get involved. “It’s up to each of us to change the perceived value of people with intellectual disabilities,” she states.

Department of Veterans Affairs Launches Employment Center Website

The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched the Employment Center website, the single federal source for Veterans looking for new career opportunities in the private and public sectors, as well as service members transitioning to the civilian workforce, military spouses and dependents looking for employment opportunities, G.I. Bill® beneficiaries transitioning from training to the job market and employers looking to connect with high quality applicants. This new site integrates multiple tools and resources for both job seekers and employers, including the Veterans Job Bank.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (April 18, 2014)

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

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

Meeting the Demands of an Expanding Health Care Workforce — Assistant Secretary Martinez’s Blog

In her April 15 posting on the Department of Labor’s official blog site, Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, focused on the increasing demand for health care workers, particularly nurses. She highlighted a recent policy roundtable hosted by the Office of Disability Employment Policy that examined strategies for employing people with disabilities in these professions. “People with disabilities not only represent an untapped talent pool that can help respond to looming labor shortages in nursing and other health care occupations, but they also offer significant value and insight that can improve care for patients and their families,” noted Martinez

The Role of Family in Youth Career Development

The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s youth technical assistance center, recently published a new InfoBrief entitled Understanding the New Vision for Career Development: The Role of Family. This InfoBrief introduces families, including families of youth with disabilities, to a new way of looking at career development for youth. This brief discusses the three phases of career development, highlights Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) as a tool for facilitating the career development process, and offers strategies on how families can support the young people in their lives as they pursue lifelong learning and skill-building in preparation for entering the world of work.

April is Donate Life Month — Job Accommodation Network Blog

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has updated their Ask JAN blog with a posting titled April is Donate Life Month: Accommodations for Employees Who Have Received Organ Transplants. The article establishes that “Many individuals who have undergone an organ transplant anticipate returning to their career after a successful transplant. An effective accommodation can make this possible.” It then discusses accommodations that employees might need before, during, and after a transplant.

Marching Beyond Compliance — EARN Webinar — April 24, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT

With increased government focus on diversity in the private sector, including veterans and individuals with disabilities, employers have even more reason to review their organization’s diversity and inclusion practices. Increased diversity in the workplace has been shown to increase innovation and creativity, reduce turnover, and result in a more qualified workforce. This webinar, presented by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN), will offer effective practices for defining diversity strategies and information about key resources for success, including a free recruitment program that matches employers with qualified students with disabilities. The webinar will take place April 24, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT.

Federal Transit Authority: National Online Dialogue on Use and Scope of Programmatic Approaches to Environmental Reviews

Friday, April 11th, 2014

How to participate

The National Online Dialogue is currently open, and will close on May 16, 2014. This site allows you to share and discuss ideas on the use of programmatic approaches to conduct environmental reviews for transportation projects. At this site, you can find background information on programmatic approaches for environmental reviews and view questions to help guide the discussion. You can submit as many ideas as you like. To join the conversation and contribute an idea or comment:

Register and sign-up to participate in the Online Dialogue at http://programmatics.ideascale.com.

Once registered, you can share your ideas by clicking the submit idea button. Registered participants can discuss and rank all the ideas.
The ideas with the highest participant rankings will bubble up to the top.

Section 1305 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) requires that FHWA and FTA initiate a rulemaking allowing for the use of programmatic approaches that are consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable laws to conduct environmental reviews. Input from the National Online Dialogue will allow FHWA and FTA to consider all stakeholder perspectives and ideas received when preparing the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), as required by MAP-21 Section 1305. Therefore, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) invite you to participate in a National Online Dialogue on the use and scope of programmatic approaches to conduct environmental reviews for transportation projects.

How to learn more

FHWA and FTA will host a webinar on Wednesday, April 23rd from 12:30-2:00pm EDT for stakeholders interested in learning more about Section 1305 of MAP-21 and the National Online Dialogue. During the webinar, FHWA and FTA will highlight the specific areas where we are seeking input, provide information on how you can submit feedback, and address questions provided via the webinar. During the webinar, we will share comments we have already received through the Dialogue, and welcome any ideas and comments you wish to share. Pre-registration is required to participate (Register here).

Please forward this information to members, partners and stakeholders you feel may be interested in participating in this national dialogue.

We look forward to you joining the discussion, and seeing and hearing your ideas on the best use of programmatic approaches!

If you have questions on the National Dialogue, please contact Megan Blum at Megan.Blum@dot.gov.

OFCCP Updates its Disability and Veterans Community Resources Database for Contractors

Friday, April 4th, 2014

On April 4, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) added 24 new resources to its Disability and Veterans Community Resources Directory. This database was launched in March 2014 to help contractors find qualified workers with disabilities and veterans, and to assist contractors with establishing relationships with national organizations and local community groups that have access to these workers.

Contractors, as well as others, can visit OFCCP’s updated Disability and Veterans Community Resources Directory on the OFCCP Web site at http://www.dol-esa.gov/errd/resources.html. OFCCP will add more resources to this database in the coming weeks.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (April 4, 2014)

Friday, April 4th, 2014

For more information on any of the following articles, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

The Changing Workforce – Assistant Secretary Martinez Addresses DMEC Conference

Speaking to an audience of disability management professionals, insurance vendors and HR practitioners at the Disability Management Employer Coalition’s FMLA/ADAAA Employer Compliance Conference in Washington, DC on April 1, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez discussed disability employment and our rapidly “graying” workforce. The conference also highlighted workplace flexibility and return-to-work programs as exemplary practices that benefit workers and employers alike.

Shelly Saves the Future – The Importance of Individualized Learning Plans

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has created an info-comic that illustrates the benefits of having an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) for high school students like Shelly, the star of the comic. ILPs are tools that help students explore their strengths and interests, learn how their interests are related to career options, and connect what they do in high school with college, job and career goals. In an April 2 posting on the Department of Labor’s blog site, Maria Town, policy adviser in ODEP, introduces Shelly’s story of career development.

Opening the Doors of Small Business to People with Disabilities: Moving Up the Ramp – Webinar – April 11, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

This webinar, presented by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network, will help small businesses learn about employing people with disabilities. Topics include the lower than anticipated costs of workers’ compensation, health care and accommodations; the benefits of employing people with disabilities, including retention, productivity, attendance, safety, team performance and financial incentives; and best practices and employment strategies. The webinar will take place April 11, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT.

LEAD Center Publishes Its Quarterly “LEAD On!” E-Newsletter

LEAD On!, the LEAD Center’s quarterly e-newsletter, highlights news and innovations in employment, policy and economic advancement for adults with disabilities. The current edition features stories on the new LEAD Center/National Council for Independent Living community of practice to promote employment and economic advancement; the recently released LEAD Center Policy Roundtable report; the new Section 503 regulations that took effect March 24, and more.

What’s New with Disability.gov?

Disability.gov, the federal government website for information on disability programs and services nationwide, now offers nine “Guides to Information” to help users quickly find a variety of resources on a single topic. The subjects covered include employment, federal government grants, self-employment, housing, transportation and other topics.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Youth Employment Rate Numbers for March 2014

Employment data for youth with and without disabilities is obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Immigration-Related Unfair Labor Practices: Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel and HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement Offer Guidance

Friday, April 4th, 2014

OSC is pleased to announce the issuance of a joint letter with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services focused on employment eligibility requirements for asylees, refugees, and other populations served by ORR.

To view the joint letter in its entirety, go to http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/pdf/stateletter4.14.pdf.

The letter is very informative, and it will serve as a useful resource when employing asylees, refugees, and other similar populations.