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CHAIR YANG PROVIDES REMARKS AT WHITE HOUSE EVENT TO CELEBRATE HIRING OF 100,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES

Monday, October 31st, 2016

October 27, 2016

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Jenny R.Yang will speak at a White House celebration to mark the fulfillment of President Barack Obama’s goal — established in a 2010 Executive Order — to hire 100,000 people with disabilities into the federal government. The event, organized by the White House, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Department of Labor (DOL), and EEOC will focus on cross-agency efforts to reach this goal. In addition, the program will highlight ongoing work to improve the federal workplace for people with disabilities and address how the federal government and private sector can share best practices in providing individuals with disabilities meaningful employment opportunities. Other scheduled speakers include OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert and DOL Deputy Secretary Christopher Lu. The event, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., may be viewed live via https://www.whitehouse.gov/live.

“Many qualified people with disabilities wish to contribute their talents and serve their country through federal service,” said EEOC Chair Yang. “It is vital that we create inclusive workplaces across the federal government and private sector where people with disabilities can thrive.”

After years of declining participation by people with disabilities in the federal government, as detailed in a 2008 EEOC report, President Obama took action to reverse the trend by signing Executive Order 13548 on July 26, 2010, which instructed agencies to hire 100,000 people with disabilities into the federal government. The Executive Order spurred creation of several interagency efforts, including the Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative. And now, over 14 percent of federal employees are individuals with disabilities – the highest percentage since this data was first recorded 35 years ago.

In her remarks, Chair Yang will announce the issuance of Tips for Applicants with Disabilities Applying for Federal Jobs, a Curb Cuts Initiative document for which EEOC has provided a leading role. The document provides practical advice for people with disabilities about how to search for vacancy announcements, create a detailed federal resume, and compile an application package. It also provides information and helpful links about the federal government’s hiring process, special hiring authorities for people with disabilities and veterans with disabilities, the right to a reasonable accommodation in the application process, and the rights of applicants with disabilities, generally.

EEOC Acting Associate Legal Counsel Christopher Kuczynski will participate in a panel discussion, moderated by OPM’s Acting Director Cobert, of how the federal government and private sector can work together to improve the hiring of people with disabilities. Other panelists include Marthalee Galeota from Starbucks, and Michael Murray, Chief Operating Officer from the American Association of People with Disabilities.

The event also will bring together leading advocates in the disability community and federal managers who enforce disability law requirements for discussions facilitated by OPM’s Innovation Lab. These discussions will focus on what barriers remain to the hiring and advancement of people with disabilities, and how those barriers may be overcome.

EEOC works to advance opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information can be found at www.eeoc.gov.

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division News (Oct. 2016)

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

For more information, go to https://www.justice.gov/crt.

CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION HIGHLIGHTS (Oct. 21, 2016)

As Americans across the country begin voting, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released a video message explaining that the Department of Justice will dispatch hundreds of federal monitors to polling places around the country. In the video she said, “as the American people prepare to go to the polls, I want them to know that we stand ready to ensure that every voter can cast his or her ballot free of unlawful intimidation, discrimination or obstruction.”

The Justice Department filed a statement of interest arguing that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) requires that landlords who consider criminal records in evaluating prospective tenants do not use overly broad generalizations that disproportionately disqualify people based on a legally protected characteristic, such as race or national origin.

The Justice Department announced that it has moved to intervene in Savage et al. v. Pocomoke City et al., a private lawsuit alleging race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by Pocomoke City, Maryland, the Worcester County Sheriff and the state of Maryland.

The Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint guidance letter to state and local child welfare systems on the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its implementing regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

The Justice Department published a blog post celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which highlighted stories about people impacted by the department’s Olmstead enforcement efforts and explained: “Protecting the rights of people with disabilities to work in, and contribute to, their communities makes our entire country stronger. When we commit to supporting, protecting and empowering our neighbors to work, our communities flourish. Employers benefit from diligent, talented and innovative employees invested in the success of their companies. And when employees and employers thrive alongside one another, our entire economy prospers. During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we need to spread that message across America.”

Former Hancock County, West Virginia, Sheriff’s Deputy Mark A. Cowden, 51, of Weirton, West Virginia, was convicted by jury of using excessive force against an arrestee.

Former Bullitt County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Corder, of Louisville, Kentucky, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for willfully depriving a county resident of his constitutional rights.

The Justice Department reached an agreement with the University of New Mexico (UNM) to ensure that UNM responds swiftly and effectively to allegations of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, involving students. The agreement resolves the department’s findings of UNM’s non-compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Fall Issue of Title VI Civil Rights News @ FCS Released (Oct. 25, 2016)

The Fall issue of Title VI Civil Rights News @FCS is now available at go.usa.gov/xkGuV. This issue spotlights the recent work of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and the continued need for federal enforcement and technical assistance so that no student is deprived an opportunity because of discrimination. This issue also highlights federal agency action under Title VI to open up housing opportunities, unemployment services, and the court system to all, regardless of race or national origin. The work underscores that Title VI remains a powerful tool to address racial disparities in the discipline practices of our schools, to tackle bias in policing and emergency response, and to ensure nondiscriminatory access to benefits.

Just since the August newsletter, the long-term efforts of the remarkable staff at the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS) have culminated in important guidance, technical assistance, and enforcement – much of it informed or inspired by you. FCS began publishing updated and expanded portions of the Title VI Legal Manual covering key Title VI concepts, including legislative history, the Department of Justice role, and scope of coverage. We also issued multi-agency guidance on Title VI and emergencies, joint guidance on Title VI and child welfare, and a report advancing the important work of ensuring language access to the courts. Read on, and you will find information on briefs, settlements, and litigation updates as well.

I look forward to continued collaboration to advance our collective mission to ensure that federal funds do not support discrimination.

Christine Stoneman
Acting Chief
Federal Coordination and Compliance Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice

To receive Title VI Civil Rights News @FCS by email, sign up for govdelivery @ https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOJ/subscriber/new?qsp=997 and check the Title VI box.

CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION HIGHLIGHTS (Oct. 28, 2016)

The Justice Department filed a proposed consent decree with the city of Florence, Kentucky, to resolve a pregnancy and disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the department under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This is the department’s first lawsuit challenging a discriminatory light duty policy since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling regarding light duty policies and pregnant employees in Young v. United Parcel Service. It is also the department’s first lawsuit challenging disability-related “no restrictions” policies in the workplace.

In anticipation of the upcoming general elections, the Justice Department provided information about its efforts, through the Civil Rights Division and Criminal Division, to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation or fraud in the election process.

Head of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta delivered remarks at the Right to Counsel National Consortium Second Annual Meeting, where she said, “The right to counsel embodies a core truth of our justice system. It makes real the notion of fairness under the law. And it affirms the ideal that all people – regardless of wealth or poverty, status or stature, color or creed – deserve equal treatment and equal protection.”

As part of the consent decree between the Justice Department and the city of Seattle, a scientific poll conducted by national polling firm Anzalone Liszt Grove Research was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The poll, which was commissioned by the federal monitor, measures community attitudes towards the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and found that SPD’s performance ratings continue to improve. According to the poll, the number of people who approve of SPD has increased to 72 percent, up from 60 percent in 2013 and 64 percent in 2015. Much of that improvement is among African Americans (49 percent approval in 2013 to 62 percent now) and Latinos (54 percent in 2013 to 74 percent now).

A Wisconsin man was sentenced last Friday to 25 years in prison for using violence, threats and coercion to compel three young women suffering from heroin addiction to prostitute for his profit in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

EEOC Weekly News Digest Bulletin (Oct. 22, 2016)

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

EEOC UPDATES STRATEGIC ENFORCEMENT PLAN
Commission Reaffirms Priorities and Strategies for Securing Strategic Impact

Media inquiries: 202-663-4191 or newsroom@eeoc.gov

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently approved an updated Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for Fiscal Years 2017-2021, reaffirming the agency’s commitment to efforts that have strategic impact in advancing equal opportunity in America’s workplaces.

“This SEP builds on the EEOC’s progress in addressing persistent and developing issues by sharpening the agency’s areas of focus and updating the plan to recognize additional areas of emerging concern,” said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. “The solid foundation laid by the Commission’s first SEP positions the EEOC to concentrate on coordinating strategies and solutions for these core areas to ensure freedom from workplace discrimination,” noted Chair Yang.

EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan for Fiscal Years 2017-2021 continues to prioritize the areas identified in its previous SEP, with some modifications:

• Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring;
• Protecting vulnerable workers, including immigrant and migrant workers, and underserved communities from discrimination;
• Addressing selected emerging and developing issues;
• Ensuring equal pay protections for all workers;
• Preserving access to the legal system; and
• Preventing systemic harassment.

Notable updates made by this SEP are the addition of two areas to the emerging issues priority: (1) issues related to complex employment relationships in the 21st century workplace; and (2) backlash discrimination against those who are Muslim or Sikh, or persons of Arab, Middle Eastern or South Asian descent, as well as persons perceived to be members of these groups, as tragic events in the United States and abroad have increased the likelihood of discrimination against these communities. The lack of diversity in technology and the increasing use of data driven screening tools, highlighted by recent Commission meetings, are also recognized as focus areas within the priority on barriers to recruitment and hiring.

As the Commission reinforces its efforts to address pay discrimination based on sex, this SEP also includes combatting pay discrimination that persists based on race, ethnicity, age, and for individuals with disabilities.

The SEP also emphasizes coordinated strategies across the EEOC to leverage the agency’s resources and promote good government. An integrated approach promotes broad sharing and consideration of ideas, strategies, and promising practices and furthers collaboration and coordination throughout the agency.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcement federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

Webinar: EEOC Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs
October 19, 2016 — 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM EST

Sponsored by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and including a guest speaker from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employee Benefits Standards Administration (EBSA).

On May 17, 2016, the EEOC issued final rules that describe how Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to wellness programs offered by employers that request health information from employees and their family members. The rules allow limited incentives for employees and spouses to participate in such programs, but also include important privacy protections.

In this webcast, EEOC attorneys will provide information that will help employers and wellness programs comply with the new rules, including an overview of both rules and answers to frequently asked questions the Commission has received since the rules were published. A speaker from DOL/EBSA will join us to discuss the interaction between these EEOC final rules and certain provisions of Title I of GINA and the Affordable Care Act applicable to employment-based group health plan coverage. This webinar is for human resource professionals, benefits attorneys, and wellness program vendors.

Please join us for this webinar to learn more and ask your questions.

Note: Seating for this live session is limited. If you are unable to join the live event, we plan to post a captioned recording at https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/regulations/index.cfm by the end of October.

To submit questions before, during or after the event please send them to FinalWellnessRules@eeoc.gov.

Step 1: http://ems7.intellor.com/login/707681
Step 2: Instructions for connecting to conference audio will then be presented on your computer

You will be connected to the conference with the AT&T Connect Web Participant Application – there is no software download or installation required.

If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0697009# or Find an Alternate Number.

If you need technical assistance, call the AT&T Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.

Labor Department’s OFCCP Convenes First Disability Business Roundtable Event (Oct. 18, 2016)

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

On October 6, 2016, OFCCP convened its first disability business roundtable, entitled “Best Practices and Strategies for Success” at the U.S. Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C. The focus of the roundtable was the business-to-business sharing of practices, experiences and lessons learned regarding the two Section 503 concerns that contractors have raised with OFCCP most often: the ability to recruit individuals with disabilities; and the ability to obtain the voluntary self-identification data necessary to measure progress toward the aspirational seven percent utilization goal.

The half-day event featured two panels comprised of select corporate leaders, from various sectors of the economy, who shared their companies’ demonstrated successes and promising approaches for fostering voluntary self-identification of disability, and for increasing the hiring and retention of individuals with disabilities. Panelists included representatives from Fortune 500 companies, and from the financial, retail and manufacturing sectors. Also featured was a keynote address by a vice president of a Fortune 500 company, and welcoming remarks from Deputy Secretary of Labor, Christopher P. Lu and OFCCP Director, Patricia A. Shiu.

Approximately 65 people, from an array of types and sizes of companies, colleges and universities, and disability service organizations attended the event, shared ideas and experiences, and asked questions of the presenters. Visit the disability business roundtable web page to view the event program guide and see photos from the event.

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

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Weekly Digest Bulletin (Oct. 16, 2016)

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

USE OF BIG DATA HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY, PANEL TELLS EEOC

Public Commission Meeting Hears from Experts on Growing Use of Algorithms to Make Employment Decisions

WASHINGTON—Big Data—the use of algorithms, “data scraping” of the internet, and other means of evaluating tens of thousands of pieces of information about an individual—is already being used to make hiring and other employment decisions, and both its use and its scope are expected to grow exponentially in the future, a panel of industrial psychologists, attorneys and labor economists told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a public meeting held at agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. today.

“Big Data has the potential to drive innovations that reduce bias in employment decisions and help employers make better decisions in hiring, performance evaluations, and promotions,” said Chair Jenny R. Yang. “At the same time, it is critical that these tools are designed to promote fairness and opportunity, so that reliance on these expanding sources of data does not create new barriers to opportunity.”

“It can be a challenge to determine whether, when, and how laws may apply in our increasingly technology-driven workplaces,” said Commissioner Victoria A. Lipnic, who helped organize the meeting. “But I see this at the core of our responsibilities: Ensuring that our understanding of today’s workplaces and our interpretation and administration of the law, are as current and fully-informed as possible. It’s for that reason that holding meetings like today is so crucial to our work.”

As defined by Dr. Kathleen Lundquist, an organizational psychologist: “Big data, predictive analytics or talent analytics – all terms used to describe the harvesting of a wide range of empirical data for HR decision making – is the inevitable future of HR. It presents a future that is both promising and scary.”

The basic premise of the use of this data, she told the Commission, is to develop a set of characteristics of high-performing incumbents, and, through the use of wide-ranging and potentially disparate data points, match candidates for the position with those desired profiles. However, “algorithms may be trained to predict outcomes which are themselves the result of previous discrimination. The high-performing group may be non-diverse and hence the characteristics of that group may more reflect their demographics than the skills or abilities needed to perform the job. The algorithm is matching people characteristics, rather than job requirements,” she said.

“It’s an exciting era because this capability is going to give a fair shot to millions of job applicants who wouldn’t have been considered previously,” said Dr. Michael Housman, a workforce scientist with a background in Applied Economics. He testified about the potential for Big Data to help non-traditional candidates, including individuals who have had long-term unemployment.

Dr. Michal Kosinski, a professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, was also optimistic that Big Data can be used to improve equal employment opportunity. “If used properly, Big Data—coupled with modern computational techniques—can improve person-job fit, increase our ability to identify talent, raise equality in access to jobs and careers, and help overcome implicit and explicit prejudice in the workplace,” he said.

On the other hand, “absent careful safeguards, demographic, sensitive health or genetic information is at risk for being incorporated in the Big Data analytics technologies that employers are beginning to use. These challenge the spirit of antidiscrimination laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act,” testified Dr. Ifeoma Ajunwa, a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University and Assistant Professor of Law at University of the District of Columbia School of Law.

Marko J. Mrkonich, a Shareholder at Littler Mendelson P.C., has developed an expertise in the interplay of anti-discrimination law and the use of Big Data, and he confirmed that “new tools and methods that rely on concepts of Big Data are becoming part of the daily landscape in human resource departments.” At the same time, he said, “employers continue to operate in a legal environment based on rules and regulations developed in an analog world with few guideposts that translate seamlessly into the world of Big Data.”

Dr. Eric M. Dunleavy, Director of the Personnel Selection and Litigation Support Services Group at DCI Consulting, spoke on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Dunleavy observed, “The question of whether employers can leverage contemporary big data for employment decision-making has been answered in the affirmative. Whether employers should do so, and how to go about it in their particular situation, are separate questions.”

Dr. Kelly Trindel, Chief Analyst in EEOC’s Office of Information, Research, and Planning, shared possible Big Data outcomes that would generate concern. “If the training phase for a big data algorithm happened to identify a greater pattern of absences for a group of people with disabilities, it might cluster the relevant people together to create a ‘high absenteeism risk’ profile. The profile need not be tagged as ‘disability’—rather it might appear to be based on some group of financial, consumer, or social media behaviors.”

The Commission will hold open the October 13, 2016, Commission meeting record for 15 days, and invites audience members, as well as other members of the public, to submit written comments on any issues or matters discussed at the meeting. Public comments may be mailed to Commission Meeting, EEOC Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20507, or emailed to: Commissionmeetingcomments@eeoc.gov.

The comments provided will be made available to members of the Commission and to Commission staff working on the matters discussed at the meeting. In addition, comments may be published on EEOC’s public website, or disclosed in response to Freedom of Information Act requests and in the Commission’s library. Providing comments in response to this solicitation equals consent to their use and consideration by the Commission and to their public availability. Accordingly, do not include any information in submitted comments that you would not want made public, like home address, telephone number, etc. Also note that when comments are submitted by e-mail, the sender’s e-mail address automatically appears on the message.

EEOC has posted biographies and statements of all panelists, and will post a video of the meeting within a few days, and a full transcript within a few weeks. These can all be found at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/10-13-16/. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information can be found at www.eeoc.gov.

MEDIA QUERIES: newsroom@eeoc.gov

Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Business $ense (Oct. 18, 2016)

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

This Month and Every Month — JAN is here for YOU!

Like all people, the approximately one in five adults in the U.S. who have disabilities need the right tools and work environments to effectively do their jobs. So it’s critical that businesses of all sizes understand how to effectively provide accommodations to employees with disabilities — as well as potential employees with disabilities going through the application and interview process.

Now, a new resource from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) can help. Launched in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Workplace Accommodation Toolkit provides a primer on the topic, with an emphasis on effective processes that benefit employer and employee alike. It contains sample policies, templates and checklists, as well as descriptions of different approaches in action. It’s a great resource for any company seeking to establish or refresh its accommodation policies and procedures — and increase inclusion across its organization. It’s also a great resource for companies seeking to retain valued talent, given that current employees may develop a need for an accommodation at any point due to illness or injury.

For those new to the term, an accommodation is considered any modification or adjustment to a job or work environment that enables a qualified person with a disability to apply for or perform a job. The term also encompasses alterations to ensure a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities. The obligation to provide reasonable accommodations for job applicants or employees with disabilities is one of the key non-discrimination requirements in the Americans with Disabilities Act’s employment provisions, as well as Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which applies to federal contractors.

Funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, JAN (AskJAN.org) is the leading source of information on accommodations, providing expert and confidential guidance to employers and others at no cost. Learn more about its services and the many ways to access them in a brief video, titled JAN is Here for You!

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

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (Oct. 14, 2016)

Friday, October 14th, 2016

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

Dialogue to Make #InclusionWork — October 11-21
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology is holding on online dialogue: “Making It Happen: Increasing Awareness of Accessible Workplace Technology,” focused on raising awareness about accessible workplace technology issues and making positive changes. U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Chris Lu posted a blog about the dialogue, which is open to the general public October 11-21. “Your creative thoughts and contributions will help us prioritize next steps related to accessible workplace technology,” noted Lu. “This October, NDEAM reminds us why #InclusionWorks, and with your input, we can build a future where technology ensures that everyone can put their skills and talents to work.”

Job Accommodation Network Releases Workplace Accommodation Toolkit
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has developed an online tool to help businesses successfully recruit, hire and retain applicants and employees with disabilities. The newest addition to JAN’s suite of products, the Workplace Accommodation Toolkit includes sample accommodation procedures, examples of policies and forms from leading U.S. businesses, training presentations, roleplay videos, and best practices for creating an inclusive workplace for people with disabilities. The Toolkit provides inclusive practices at various phases of the employment life cycle for hiring managers and supervisors, human resource professionals, accommodation consultants, and allies of employees with disabilities.

Campaign for Disability Employment to Host Twitter Chat Featuring Baseball’s Curtis Pride — October 18, 1:00-2:00 PM ET
Just in time for playoff season, ODEP’s Campaign for Disability Employment and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) are hosting a Twitter chat on October 18, 1:00-2:00 PM ET. The chat will feature special guest Curtis Pride — former Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder, current Gallaudet University Head Baseball Coach and MLB Ambassador for Inclusion — and will be held in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Titled “#InclusionWorks: Fielding a Full Team in the Workplace,” the chat will provide a forum to discuss what people with disabilities CAN do to knock their career goals out of the park — and how employers can step up to the plate to ensure a fully inclusive team in their workplaces. To participate in this important Twitter conversation, please use the hashtag #InclusionWorks.

NIDILRR to Host Listening Sessions for Stakeholders
The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) will be hosting a number of listening sessions across the country to help inform future funding priorities and strategic direction. Mandated by Congress to develop a Long Range Plan every five years, the agency aims to continue to be responsive to the needs of key stakeholders — especially people living with disabilities. You can attend in person, listen by phone or provide comments by email. The listening sessions will be held from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM local time, in the following locations: Denver, CO on October 14; San Francisco, CA on October 28; Chicago, IL on November 1; Boston, MA on November 18; and Dallas, TX on December 5.

Interagency Committee on Disability Research Seeks Comments on Draft Government Wide Strategic Plan
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) to develop a comprehensive government wide strategic plan. The ICDR invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the Draft Government Wide Strategic Plan for FY 2017-2020. Written comments must be received on the plan before October 26, 2016.

U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division News (Oct. 7, 2016)

Monday, October 10th, 2016

UPDATES FROM THE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION

The Justice announced that it has opened a statewide investigation into the conditions in Alabama’s prisons for men. The investigation will focus on whether prisoners are adequately protected from physical harm and sexual abuse at the hands of other prisoners; whether prisoners are adequately protected from use of excessive force and staff sexual abuse by correctional officers; and whether the prisons provide sanitary, secure and safe living conditions.

The Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a comprehensive report that examines barriers and promising practices – in recruitment, hiring and retention – for advancing diversity in law enforcement. The report, developed with support from the Center for Policing Equity, aims to provide law enforcement agencies, especially small and mid-size agencies, with a resource to enhance the diversity of their workforce by highlighting specific strategies and efforts in place in police departments around the country.

An Iowa man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stomping on and kicking the head of an African-American man in a racially targeted attack.

An indictment unsealed this week in St. Paul, Minnesota, charges 17 members of an international sex trafficking organization with transporting hundreds of women from Thailand and profiting from advertising them for commercial sex throughout the United States.

A one-count indictment was returned this week charging a former administrator of the McClain County Jail in Purcell, Oklahoma, with a civil rights violation arising out of the death of a detainee in June 2013.

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to building stronger relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve, the Department of Justice has led nearly 400 events in support of community policing efforts around the country. To further that effort, President Obama designated this week (October 2-8, 2016) as National Community Policing Week. The week is also an extension of the Attorney General’s 12-city Community Policing Tour that highlighted collaborative programs and policing practices designed to advance public safety, strengthen police-community relations, and foster mutual trust and respect between law enforcement and civilians.

The Justice Department announced that the Bossier City, Louisiana, Housing Authority (BCHA) has agreed to pay $120,000 and adopt new policies and practices to settle a lawsuit alleging that it discriminated on the basis of race and disability, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The Justice Department announced that it has filed a lawsuit against James C. Goss, the owner, and Cathy Plante and Joey Gwozdz, the managers, of May Grove Village Mobile Home Park, an 81-lot property in Lakeland, Florida. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants discriminated against African Americans in violation of the Fair Housing Act. This case is the third mobile home park race discrimination case the Justice Department has filed in the Middle District of Florida in the last year.

The Civil Rights Division filed a Statement of Interest in Sanchez v. Cegavske, a case in the District of Nevada. The underlying complaint alleges that the state and two counties failed to offer equitable access to late registration sites, early voting sites and polling places to members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and the Walker River Paiute Tribe. The brief clarifies the applicable standard for evaluating these sorts of claims under the Voting Rights Act.

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

Webinar on EEOC Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs (Oct. 2016)

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Webinar scheduled for October 19, 2016 — 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM EST

Sponsored by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and including a guest speaker from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employee Benefits Standards Administration (EBSA).

On May 17, 2016, the EEOC issued final rules that describe how Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to wellness programs offered by employers that request health information from employees and their family members. The rules allow limited incentives for employees and spouses to participate in such programs, but also include important privacy protections.

In this webcast, EEOC attorneys will provide information that will help employers and wellness programs comply with the new rules, including an overview of both rules and answers to frequently asked questions the Commission has received since the rules were published. A speaker from DOL/EBSA will join us to discuss the interaction between these EEOC final rules and certain provisions of Title I of GINA and the Affordable Care Act applicable to employment-based group health plan coverage. This webinar is for human resource professionals, benefits attorneys, and wellness program vendors.

Please join us for this webinar to learn more and ask your questions.

Step 1: http://ems7.intellor.com/login/707681
Step 2: Instructions for connecting to conference audio will then be presented on your computer

You will be connected to the conference with the AT&T Connect Web Participant Application – there is no software download or installation required.
If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0697009# or Find an Alternate Number.

If you need technical assistance, call the AT&T Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.

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

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (Oct. 7, 2016)

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

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

Presidential Proclamation — National Disability Employment Awareness Month
President Obama has signed a proclamation declaring October 2016 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The proclamation acknowledges the disparities in the employment rate for people with disabilities and the discrimination that they face in finding work. It also celebrates the strides that have been made, particularly in federal employment and the federal contractor workforce, as well as through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. “This month, let us continue striving to forge a future where workplaces are more inclusive and where employees are more accepted for who they are,” said the President. “And because we know that our country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, let us keep working to ensure no one is left behind or unable to pursue their dreams because of a disability.”

PEAT Talks: Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month — October 20, 2:00-2:30 PM ET
Please join Maria Town, Senior Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement, for a celebratory webinar in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Learn more about the important work that the current administration has done to promote the use of accessible information and communication technology (ICT) in workplaces nationwide, and find out how you can carry forward the value of disability inclusion in your workplace year-round.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Posters Appear in Washington, DC Metro Stations
The 2016 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) posters are showing up at various Metro stations throughout the Washington, DC area. You can find them at the Archives, Capitol Heights, Cheverly, Eisenhower Avenue, and Judiciary Square stations. If you spy one, take a photo and tweet it using the hashtag #InclusionWorks!

Inclusion Works for Business
“We at the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) are proud to provide a forum where businesses unite to learn and share leading trends, innovations and breakthroughs that will influence and redefine the future of disability inclusion across the enterprise,” said Jill Houghton, USBLN President and CEO, in an October 6 post on the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog. Houghton described the USBLN’s business-to-business approach and reflected on its recent successful annual conference, at which she signed a renewal of its ongoing alliance with the Office of Disability Employment Policy. “We count ODEP as a valued partner, because our missions are clearly aligned. We both know that #InclusionWorks,” noted Houghton, referring to the 2016 National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme.

Campaign for Disability Employment to Host Twitter Chat Featuring Baseball’s Curtis Pride — October 18, 1:00-2:00 PM ET
Just in time for playoff season, ODEP’s Campaign for Disability Employment and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) are hosting a Twitter chat on October 18, 1:00-2:00 PM ET. The chat will feature special guest Curtis Pride — former Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder, current Gallaudet University Head Baseball Coach and MLB Ambassador for Inclusion — and will be held in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Titled “#InclusionWorks: Fielding a Full Team in the Workplace,” the chat will provide a forum to discuss what people with disabilities CAN do to knock their career goals out of the park — and how employers can step up to the plate to ensure a fully inclusive team in their workplaces. To participate in this important Twitter conversation, please use the hashtag #InclusionWorks.

EFSLMP Webinar: HCBS Rule Implementation and Employment First State Initiatives — October 12, 3:00-4:30 PM ET
Join us for the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) Community of Practice webinar on October 12, 3:00-4:30 PM ET for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Rule Implementation and Employment First State Initiatives. Dr. Serena Lowe, Senior Policy Adviser to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), will clarify the implications of key HCBS requirements on settings providing employment supports and discuss strategies to build the capacity of non-disability specific settings for HCBS beneficiaries to receive both residential and non-residential supports. Dr. Lowe will also share examples of how states are leveraging other partners (DD networks, mental health systems, advocates, etc.) to help implement key aspects of the rule.

JAN is here for YOU!
Want to learn more about workplace solutions for individuals with disabilities? The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a free service of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, is the national resource that can provide you with confidential, expert, and accurate technical assistance about job accommodations and employment laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act. Employers, individuals, service providers, and others can use JAN at no cost! Learn more about how JAN can help you increase the productivity of your workplace using low-cost, practical solutions to accommodation situations.

LEAD Center Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability
The LEAD Center’s Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability is a monthly update focusing on the intersection of disability, employment, and health care policy. 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 September 2016 update features stories on select state HCBS plan updates, new DOJ regulations clarifying the definition of disability under the ADA, a new nTIDE report from Research on Disability showing rising disability employment trends, and more.

LEAD On! Newsletter — September 2016
A new issue of LEAD On!, the LEAD Center’s quarterly e-newsletter, is now available. LEAD On! highlights news and innovations in employment, policy, and economic advancement for people with disabilities. Articles in this edition of LEAD On! focus on the WIOA Advisory Committee’s final report, LEAD Center resources on the WIOA final rules, a new DOLETA Training & Employment Notice (TEN) on a toolkit for CILs & AJCs, and more.

National Council on Disability Releases National Disability Policy: A Progress Report – October 2016
Advancements in technology have the potential to transform society and make it more responsive to people with disabilities. The National Council on Disability (NCD) has released a report on information and communication technology (ICT) as well as assistive technology (AT) and calls for a Technology Bill of Rights for People with Disabilities to clarify how existing federal legislation applies to both. As stated in the introduction to the report, “Making technology accessible to people with disabilities will not only make our society more inclusive but will also serve to maximize the potential ability of a powerful but often excluded population to contribute to society.”