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Archive for September, 2014

From the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Missouri Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Issues Public Statement on Events in Ferguson, Missouri

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Missouri State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is carefully monitoring the potential civil rights issues related to the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the events that followed. The Committee seeks to investigate a number of these issues over the course of the next two years through its public hearing process to address the concerns that are not unique to Ferguson, Missouri, but are prevalent in communities throughout the State of Missouri. The Committee looks forward to hearing from concerned Missouri citizens and working with organizations and other agencies to explore not only what happened but also to prevent such events from occurring in the future.

The Missouri State Advisory Committee is one of 51 advisory committees that is appointed by and provides reports to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. It is comprised of citizens from around the state who were nominated and appointed by Commission. The Commission appointed the current Missouri Committee on July 25, 2014.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with studying and advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters and issuing a federal civil rights enforcement report. For information about the Commission’s reports and meetings, visit http://www.usccr.gov.

New ‘Digest of EEO Law’ Issued by EEOC (September 29, 2014)

Monday, September 29th, 2014

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the latest edition of its federal sector Digest of Equal Employment Opportunity Law, which is available online at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/digest/xxv-2.cfm.

This quarterly publication, prepared by the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (OFO), features a wide variety of recent Commission decisions and federal court cases of interest. Additionally, it contains a special article entitled, Failure to State a Claim: An Overview of the Law & Three Areas of Concern.

“The article on Failure to State a Claim contains information related to the recently released report on dismissals,” said OFO Director Carlton M. Hadden. “We wanted to focus on this important issue to provide a follow-up for our stakeholders.”

The spring 2014 edition of the Digest contains summaries of noteworthy decisions issued by the EEOC. This edition features cases involving attorneys’ fees, compensatory damages, dismissals, findings on the merits, remedies, sanctions, stating a claim, settlement agreements, summary judgment, and timeliness.

The summaries are neither intended to be exhaustive or definitive as to the selected subject matter, nor are they to be given the legal weight of case law in citations. In addition to the quarterly Digest, Commission federal sector decisions are available on the EEOC’s website at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/decisions.cfm. The public may also receive federal sector information updates and news items via Twitter: @EEOC_OFO.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination in the public and private sectors. Further information about EEOC is available online at www.eeoc.gov.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (September 26, 2014)

Friday, September 26th, 2014

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

Assistant Secretary Martinez Discusses Integrated Employment

Promoting integrated employment as the first option for people with disabilities, including significant disabilities, was the focus of two recent events keynoted by Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez. The first, on September 19 in New York at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, gathered disability rights attorneys, service providers and students to explore the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C., which 15 years ago affirmed that people with significant disabilities have the right to live and work in their communities. The second, on September 24 in Des Moines, IA, was the annual meeting of the Iowa State Association for People Supporting Employment First, a group of service providers and state officials dedicated to improving employment outcomes for Iowans with significant disabilities.

National Association of Workforce Development Professionals Welcomes Assistant Secretary Martinez

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez was in Chicago on September 23, where she addressed attendees of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) 2014 Youth Development Symposium. Designed to share best practices in youth programming, the event explored tactics that contribute to successful transitions for all youth, including youth with disabilities, such as individualized learning plans (ILPs), and the promise of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. “Youth motivation and learning potential are optimized when young people have a meaningful say in defining their career and life goals based on their interests, values and skills,” said Martinez. “And when they receive services and supports from caring adults like you that are transparent, well-coordinated and tailored to their needs, we can achieve great results.”

Disability Employment Initiative Grants Awarded to Six States

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced $14,837,785 in grants to six states to improve employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities. The grants to California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota and South Dakota are being awarded as part of the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI), funded by DOL’s Employment and Training Administration and Office of Disability Employment Policy. These grants will help expand the capacity of local American Job Centers to improve employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities by increasing their participation in existing career pathway systems and programs that build on partnerships among local educational institutions, businesses and disability advocates. This is the fifth round of funding through the DEI, which now supports 37 projects in 26 states.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Establishes Web Page for the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities

The web page for the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities is now available on the website of the Office of Disability Employment Policy. The page will be updated frequently with news about meeting, reports, and resources. The committee is a key part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2014 to help job seekers, including those with disabilities, access the services they need to succeed in employment and match employers with skilled workers. The committee is mandated by section 609 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by section 461 of WIOA. The committee consists of both federal officials and private citizens from specific groups identified in the WIOA legislation. Anyone interested in being nominated for the committee can review the Federal Register Notice and submit the requested information by October 14, 2014.

HHS and DOL to Host 2014 A11Y Conference on Accessible Technology and Employment — October 15, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will host the 2014 A11Y Conference: Expect. Employ. Empower. This one-day conference will bring together the themes of technology, accessibility and employment of people with disabilities, and will focus on ensuring that accessible technology is available to all employees, including those with disabilities. Through exhibits and in-depth breakout sessions, federal and technology company innovators will present the latest information on improving accessibility in the workplace. The event will be held at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT. Check-in begins at 8:00 AM. Sign language interpreters and real-time captioning will be provided.

National Science Foundation to Present Webinar on Reasonable Accommodations for Federal Employees and to Hold NAAC Grand Opening —October 15, 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM EDT

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will present a webinar, “Providing Reasonable Accommodations for Federal Employees with Disabilities,” on October 15, 10:00 – 11:30 AM EDT. Real-time captioning will be provided during the webinar, which will be followed by the NSF Accessibility and Accessment Center (NAAC) Grand Opening and Showcase from 11:30 AM – 3:30 PM EDT. The event will take place at NSF Headquarters Building-Room 375, 4201 Wilson Boulevard Arlington, VA. RSVPs will be accepted until October 10. To arrange for onsite sign language interpreting or other reasonable accommodations, submit requests to eeo@nsf.gov by October 1.

LEAD Center Issues September 2014 Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability

The LEAD Center’s Policy Update – Employment, Health Care and Disability provides policymakers, disability service professionals, individuals with disabilities and their families with information about relevant policy developments regarding Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and related topics, with a focus on improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The latest update features stories on CMS guidance to states on transition plans for HCBS, new requirements under WIOA to promote integrated employment and divert youth from automatically being place in sheltered workshops, a new report on promoting employment for people with mental illness, and much more.

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination Claim Against Major Airline (September 23, 2014)

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with United Continental Holdings Inc. resolving a claim that divisions of the company previously operating as Continental Airlines discriminated against individuals because of citizenship status in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The department’s investigation was initiated based on a telephone call to the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices’s (OSC) hotline. The department found that the company requested lawful permanent resident employees, but not U.S. citizen employees, to complete additional Forms I-9 and provide additional proof of employment eligibility after hire even though the law prohibits this practice. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from placing additional documentary burdens on work-authorized employees during the employment eligibility verification process based on their citizenship status.

“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision protects individuals from being singled out for unnecessary and unauthorized employment reverification based on their citizenship or immigration status,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Civil Rights Division. “We commend Continental’s willingness to resolve the issues uncovered during the department’s investigation.”

Under the settlement agreement, Continental will pay $215,000 to the United States, create a $55,000 back pay fund to compensate individuals who may have lost wages due to the company’s practices, and undergo training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The company will also be subject to departmental monitoring of its employment eligibility reverification practices for a period of two years.

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices within the Justice Department is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. Among other things, the statute prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; retaliation; and intimidation.

For more information about protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws, call OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); call 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/crt/about/osc/webinars.php, email osccrt@usdoj.govEmail links icon; or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.

Applicants or employees who believe they were subjected to: different documentary requirements based on their citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin; or discrimination based on their citizenship status, immigration status or national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, should contact OSC’s worker hotline for assistance.

Office of Disability Employment Policy: Business Sense (September 22, 2014)

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Start the Countdown to National Disability Employment Awareness Month

With October quickly approaching, now is the perfect time for businesses of all sizes and industries to make plans for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Held annually in October, NDEAM raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities throughout our nation’s history.

And how exactly can employers take part? NDEAM’s national sponsor, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, offers a wide range of ideas to inspire you. For example, businesses can order and display this year’s official NDEAM poster, conduct disability awareness training for employees or express support for NDEAM through their social media activities. The possibilities are endless, and materials to help you get started can be found in ODEP’s NDEAM Resource Toolbox, which features ready-to-publish newsletter articles, sample press releases and more.

NDEAM’s true value lies in the many creative events and activities that take place at the grassroots level across the nation each year. By supporting it, employers play an important role in advancing its spirit, both in October and throughout the year. After all, they’re at the center of this year’s NDEAM theme: Expect. Employ. Empower.

U.S. Department of Education’s “Know It 2 Own It: Teaching and Learning About Disability Rights” (September 19, 2014)

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

In a recent blog post, we introduced you to “Know It 2 Own It,” a campaign to encourage Americans to learn more about the disability rights movement and history that led to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July of 1990.

This month, as students across the country settle into their daily academic routines, now is the perfect time to think about teaching and learning about disability rights.

American history is also the history of people with disabilities. Though her life spanned the 19th and 20th centuries, many 21st century students still find inspiration in the remarkable career of Helen Keller – the American author, lecturer and activist and the first deaf and blind person to earn a college degree. The story of her early years is the subject of the powerful play, “The Miracle Worker.” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, considered by many as one of the nation’s greatest elected leaders, helped guide the country and the world through some the 20th century’s greatest crises while using a wheelchair. One of the most beloved singers alive today, singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, was born blind. These are just some of examples of the contributions that people with disabilities have made to the richness and diversity of our shared American life through the years.

The disability rights movement is a part of American history, and understanding that history is valuable to all of us. The struggle for disability rights is part of the broader cause of civil rights and human rights.

This month’s guest video blogger, Rebecca Cokley, is Executive Director for the National Council on Disability (NCD). In the video, she describes how she got involved in the disability rights movement as a child, what she thinks are the most important messages for young people with disabilities, and why she is committed to mentoring others. Her motto is: “Lift as you Climb.”

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) wants to hear from you. Have you found mentors in your local community that could teach students more about disability rights? Does a member of your school community have a family member with a disability who might be willing to share their experience? Does someone have a family member who works in a disability-related non-profit, business, or government agency?
Please let us know how you are working to bring about positive change in your community by sharing your story on social media with the hashtag #know2own.

Sue Swenson is Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education.

For more information, go to www.ed.gov.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (September 19, 2014)

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

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

Assistant Secretary Martinez Discusses People with Disabilities and the Financial Industry

U.S. News and World Report Money recently published an article, “How People with Disabilities Can Overcome Money Challenges,” which examined a report released by the National Disability Institute about the financial challenges faced by people with disabilities. These challenges include a higher rate of poverty, added expenses for disability-related needs, and barriers created by the financial industry. In the article, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez explained some of the difficulties she experienced when applying for a home loan, including accessibility issues. “There are a lot of things financial companies could do to make it easier,” she said.

U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and Wage and Hour Division Publish Fact Sheet on Stay-at-Work and Return-to-Work

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and Wage and Hour Division have co-authored a fact sheet entitled “Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work: Supporting Employees Who Experience Unexpected Illness or Disability.” This document informs employers about resources available to help employees who have sustained disabilities or chronic illness to return to work or stay at work. It also explains provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that are applicable in these situations, and how intermittent leave may assist employees to remain on the job.

Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology to Present Webinar on Accessible Technology — September 26, 1:00-2:30 PM EDT

The ODEP-funded Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) will host the third in its current series of webinars on Friday, September 26, 1:00-2:30 PM EDT. “Powering Up Your Employment Potential through Accessible Technology: What People with Disabilities Need to Know” will explore how people with disabilities can advocate for accessible technology in their workplaces and the benefits of doing so, for them and all employees. The webinar will be moderated by Richard Crespin of CollaborateUp and feature a variety of knowledgeable panelists with expertise in accessible technology from both the user and employer perspectives.

Job Accommodation Network Announces 2014/2015 Webcast Training Series

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) 2014/2015 Webcast Training Series schedule is now available. You must register to attend these no cost Webcasts. Educate yourself, management, and other employees on workplace trends, assistive technologies, management techniques, and the latest on accommodations and the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). All Webcasts in this series begin at 2:00 PM ET and are 1 hour.

FDWC News Hour to Host Webinar on How and When Pregnant Employees Receive Reasonable Accommodations — September 24, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT

Although pregnancy itself is not a disability, pregnant workers and pregnant job applicants are not excluded from the protections of the ADA. In this FDWC News Hour webinar, participants will learn how and when an employer must provide pregnancy-related accommodations. The webinar will be held September 24, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT.

“Let’s Talk About Pay”: by Patricia A. Shiu and Latifa Lyles (September 17, 2014)

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Lilly Ledbetter’s name has become synonymous with the pursuit of fair pay. For most of her career, she was like far too many women in the United States: underpaid and unaware. But did you know that the anonymous note Lilly received from a co-worker – the note that finally alerted her to the pay discrimination she had been subjected to for nearly 20 years – could have cost that colleague his or her job? That’s because Lilly’s employer had strict pay secrecy policies in place. Neither Lilly nor her co-workers could talk about what they were paid and, thereby, advocate for their own equal pay.

Well, that culture of pay secrecy is coming to an end for companies doing business with the federal government.

By signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in January 2009, President Obama made it clear that fair pay and gender equality are top priorities for his administration. Earlier this year, he underscored that message by signing Executive Order 13665, instructing Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to propose a rule to encourage pay transparency among federal contractors and subcontractors, like Lilly’s employer. Our proposed rule, which was published in the Federal Register today, would make it easier to address unfair compensation practices by making it safe for workers to discuss, disclose and inquire about their own pay – and the pay of their colleagues – without fear of discrimination.

Although President Obama signed this executive order on Equal Pay Day, a day that highlights the impact of the gender wage gap, women aren’t the only potential beneficiaries. The freedom to discuss compensation without fear of reprisal would give an estimated 28 million American workers the tools to advocate for their own fair pay, just like Lilly did.

What would this proposed rule mean for you? We invite you to learn more about our proposal by visiting www.dol.gov/ofccp/PayTransparencyNPRM. There you can also find a link to share your comments between now and Dec. 16.

Patricia A. Shiu is the director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Latifa Lyles is the director of the Women’s Bureau. Both are members of President Obama’s National Equal Pay Task Force.

Rule to improve pay transparency for employees of federal contractors proposed by US Labor Department (September 15, 2014)

Monday, September 15th, 2014

New rule prohibits federal contractors, subcontractors from discriminating against workers who discuss pay

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs today announced a proposed rule that would prohibit federal contractors from maintaining pay secrecy policies. Under the terms of the proposal, federal contractors and subcontractors may not fire or otherwise discriminate against any employee or applicant for discussing, disclosing or inquiring about their compensation or that of another employee or applicant.

“Workers cannot solve a problem unless they are able to identify it. And they cannot identify it if they aren’t free to talk about it without fear of reprisal,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “Pay transparency isn’t just good for workers. It’s good for business. Fairness and openness are great qualities for a company’s brand.”

President Obama signed Executive Order 13665 on April 8, instructing the secretary of labor to propose a rule within 160 days to require pay transparency among federal contractors. The proposed rule, available for public inspection today, would amend the equal opportunity clauses in Executive Order 11246 to afford protections to workers who talk about pay. It would also add definitions for compensation, compensation information, and essential job functions, terms which appear in the revised clauses. The proposal also establishes two types of defenses that contractors can use against allegations of discrimination under EO 13665.

The rule will be published in the Sept. 17 issue of the Federal Register and open for public comment for 90 days. To learn more about the proposed rule, please visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/PayTransparencyNPRM.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

Fact Sheet (accompanying the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking)

Background

On September 15, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to prohibit pay secrecy policies and actions by covered Federal contractors and subcontractors.

This NPRM seeks to implement Executive Order (EO) 13665, signed by President Obama on April 8, 2014, by proposing to prohibit Federal contractors from discharging or discriminating in any other way against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their own compensation or the compensation of another employee or applicant. Enabling the more than 28 million employees of Federal contractors and subcontractors to discuss their compensation without fear of adverse action can contribute to reducing pay discrimination and ensuring that qualified and productive employees receive fair compensation. This proposed rule, like the Paycheck Fairness Act, seeks to level the playing field by increasing transparency and giving these workers a much needed tool to fight pay discrimination.

The rule will be published in the Sept. 17 issue of the Federal Register and open for public comment for a period of 90 days, thereafter. To read and learn more about the proposed rule, please visit www.dol.gov/ofccp/PayTransparencyNPRM.

Need for the Proposed Rule

Despite the existence of laws protecting workers from gender–based compensation discrimination for more than five decades, a pay gap between men and women persists today. Consider that:

A comparison of average annual wage data reveals that women make 77 cents for every dollar that men make.1 Recent data on average weekly wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show a similar gap, with women making 82 cents for every dollar that men make.2 The gap in wages is even greater for some women of color.

BLS data show that African American women earn 68 cents and Latina women earn 59 cents for every dollar earned by a non–Hispanic white man.3 Census data show similar disparities, with African American women making 64 cents, Latina women making 56 cents, and Asian women making 86 cents per dollar earned by a non–Hispanic white man.

While research has found that many factors contribute to the wage gap, such as occupational preferences, pay discrimination remains a significant problem, especially for the working poor and the middle class. Among the possible contributing factors is the prevalence of workplace prohibitions against discussing compensation. Strictures against revealing compensation can conceal compensation disparities among employees, making it impossible for an employee to know he or she is being underpaid compared to his or her peers. If compensation remains hidden, employees who are being paid less because of their gender or race will remain unaware of the problem. In the absence of this knowledge, these employees will be unable to exercise their rights by filing a discrimination complaint pursuant to the Executive Order.

Highlights of the Proposed Rule

The NPRM proposes the following changes to the existing regulations:

Amends the Equal Opportunity Clause of Executive Order 11246 that requires certain information be included in Federal contracts and subcontracts. The amendment mandates inclusion of the requirement that Federal contractors and subcontractors refrain from discharging, or otherwise discriminating against, employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants. An exception exists where the employee or applicant makes the disclosure based on information obtained in the course of performing his or her essential job functions.

Requires that Federal contractors incorporate the nondiscrimination provision into their existing employee manuals or handbooks, and disseminate the nondiscrimination provision to employees and to job applicants.

Defines key words or terms such as compensation, compensation information, and essential job functions as used in the Executive Order.
Provides employers with two defenses to an allegation of discrimination: one based on enforcing rules against disruptive behavior; and the other based on the essential functions of the person’s job.

For more information, please go to www.dol.gov/ofccp.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (September 12, 2014)

Monday, September 15th, 2014

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

Secretary of Labor Discusses Opportunities for People with Disabilities at G20 Ministerial Meeting

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez met with employment ministers of the G20 in Melbourne, Australia, on September 9-11 to discuss economic growth and job creation in the global economy. Perez conducted a series of bilateral meetings to promote a range of mutual challenges, such as youth unemployment, expanding opportunities for women, and ensuring people with disabilities have the opportunity to realize their full potential.

Assistant Secretary Martinez Addresses Add Us In Meeting

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez kicked off the annual Add Us In grantee meeting, held on September 11 at the World Institute on Disability in Berkeley, CA. Funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, Add Us In aims to develop effective models for increasing the capacity of small businesses — especially those in underrepresented and historically excluded communities — to hire people with disabilities.

Nominations Sought for Participation in Advisory Committee on Competitive Integrated Employment

The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities is a key part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2014 to help job seekers—including those with disabilities—access the services they need to succeed in employment and match employers with skilled workers. The committee is mandated by Section 609 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by section 461 of WIOA. The committee consists of both federal officials and private citizens from specific groups identified in the WIOA legislation. People interested in being nominated for the committee are encouraged to review the Federal Register Notice and submit the requested information. Questions about the committee can be submitted via e-mail to IntegratedCompetitiveEmployment@dol.gov.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Announces Continued Funding to Improve Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy announced a total of $8,422,574 in continued funding for organizations that develop models, provide technical assistance and share best practices to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The entities include the Add Us In initiative; West Virginia University Research Corp to operate the Job Accommodation Network; the Institute for Educational Leadership to operate the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth; the National Disability Institute to operate the National Center on Leadership for Employment and Advancement of Citizens with Disabilities, and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America to operate the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology.

Number Power – Office of Disability Employment Policy Blog

In a September 10 post on the DOL blog site, Dr. Cherise Hunter, a social science research analyst in the Office of Disability Employment Policy, described the various sources of disability employment data available to researchers and policymakers. Among them are the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which is the largest survey sampled annually in the United States, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, which is the U.S. government’s source for comprehensive monthly estimates on labor force participation, employment and unemployment. Both of these sources offer vital data on the employment of people with disabilities. “[Statistics] provide reliable and accurate information that empowers policy advisors, researchers and others to track the status of people with disabilities in the labor force and effectively set programmatic and policy priorities,” explained Hunter.

LEAD Center to Host Webinar on Strategic Partnerships for CILs and AJCs – September 24, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

A growing number of Centers for Independent Living are providing employment services to meet the needs of their customers and to improve the employment and economic advancement outcomes of individuals with disabilities. In this webinar, “CILs and AJCs: Strategic Partnerships that Lead to Better Employment and Economic Advancement Outcomes,” participants will learn about findings and tools from a LEAD Center Demonstration Project completed with five Centers for Independent Living, the National Council on Independent Living and the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals to improve collaboration and coordination between the CILs and AJC management and staff. The webinar will be held September 24, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT. All LEAD Center webinars are captioned and presentation materials are sent to participants in advance of the webinar. For any other reasonable accommodation requests, please contact Brittany Taylor at btaylor@ndi-inc.org.

Assistance Dogs in the Workplace – Reflections on How to Make It Work – Part 2 – JAN Blog

In a September 10 post on the JAN blog site, JAN Lead Consultant Kim Cordingly discussed “the increasingly important role of assistance dogs in the workplace and best practices that support both employee and employer,” a subject that she first addressed in a post that appeared on August 25. Cordingly focused on her conversation with Dr, Margaret Glenn, an associate professor in the rehabilitation counseling program at West Virginia University, who conducted a one-year study on the use of assistance dogs in the workplace. The blog described some of the important information derived from the study.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Youth Employment Rate Numbers for August 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.