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Paperback and E-Book: Conducting Civil Rights Investigations in Government Programs and Activities

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

This is the only book on the market that focuses on discrimination complaint investigations in a wide range of Federally-assisted, public-facing programs and activities! Reviews by State and local equal opportunity officials in 2017 include “I love your book,” and the book is “outstanding,” “easy to follow,” and “extremely useful.”

Paperback:
Cost: $19.99 per copy

Go to www.outskirtspress.com/civilrights; or

Email the author at seena@titleviconsulting.com, and you will receive an invoice by PayPal; or

Mail a check for $19.99 per book (plus $3.00 per book for shipping and handling in the United States) payable to Title VI Consulting at 107 S. West St., PMB 713, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Electronic book:
Cost: $9.99 per electronic copy

Available through Nook, or Kindle. For iPad and iTunes, you’ll find the book in the “Law Library.” Access the e-book through the publisher at http://www.outskirtspress.com/civilrights.

Reviewers describe the book as “the most thorough and the best product on the market,” “an eye-opening experience,” “an excellent reference book,” and “an invaluable resource for its target audience of professionals who must respond to complaints of discrimination.”

About the Book

In Civil Rights Investigations, Ms. Foster assembles a tremendous amount of information, presents it in an organized and easy-to-understand format, and delivers it to you along with practical and useful guidance. Whether you are a novice or expert, this book is a truly exceptional resource that takes you step-by-step through the investigative process. And, the teachings offered are applicable to any discrimination complaint investigation.

Starting with the basics of knowing whether you have a complaint and authority to investigate it, to navigating more in-depth concepts such as understanding the burdens of the parties, properly framing the issues of an investigation, interviewing witnesses, analyzing conflicting evidence, and writing final determinations, Civil Rights Investigations is with you each step of the way, providing insights, tips, and examples.

A wide array of discriminatory bases is explored, including race, color, national origin, gender, sexual harassment, religion, disability, political affiliation, citizenship, and age. And, the book contains sample interrogatories covering numerous adverse actions in government programs such as denial of access, denial of training, denial of services, denial of benefits, and denial of proposals or bids. Other sample interrogatories address adverse actions in the workplace, such as sexual harassment, reasonable accommodation, reasonable modification, retaliation, termination, non-selection, non-promotion, adverse performance appraisals, and damages. Finally, the book contains a jurisdiction checklist as well as templates for every stage of the investigation–from notifying the parties that you do not have jurisdiction to investigate a complaint or notifying the parties you have accepted a complaint for investigation to sample complaint investigation plans and a sample final determination on the merits of a complaint.

Civil Rights Investigations is packed with useful information, and it serves as a top-of-the-line resource for any public or private sector equal opportunity professional.

Civil Rights Investigations addresses several Federal civil rights statutes, including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. Its guidance, however, is useful in any civil rights discrimination investigation, and in developing and implementing preventative measures.

Reviews of the Book

Get this one-of-a-kind book judged by a panel of industry experts as a Finalist in the Business Reference category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, sponsored by USA Book News. The book also received a Bronze Medal in the Government/Politics category (top 5% of over 3,000 entries) for the 2012 International Readers Favorite Book Awards. And, in October 2012, Ms. Foster was announced as a “Finalist of 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading,” presented by The Authors Show. In October 2013, Civil Rights Investigations was Amazon’s Featured Title of the Week.

Lisa Connor states: “You obviously have a passion for your subject matter–you present your findings in a very well-researched, thorough manner. … I have to say that you have put together an excellent piece”

Omoye Cooper of Albany, New York states: “I have worked in the field of Equal Opportunity for over 30 years and have attended numerous trainings on EO investigations. After attending Seena Foster’s Civil Rights Investigations workshop, I can say without a doubt that it is the most thorough and the best product on the market. Ms. Foster not only gives the technical information, but she also provides step by step guidelines and tools for effective implementation.”

“Ms. Foster’s workshops and book, “Civil Rights Investigations,” are professional resources that are highly recommended for all new and seasoned AA and EEO practitioners. Utilization of her materials will help new EEO professionals build a solid knowledge base that will make it possible to conduct defendable investigations; and for the veteran practitioners, it will take you to another level. Outstanding!”

Readers Favorite (5 out of 5 star ratings):

Brenda Ballard states: Discrimination is a very real problem in the work place but what can a person do? Seena K. Foster, author of “Civil Rights Investigations Under the Workforce Investment Act” leads the reader through the law, the process and the various scenarios of the subject. Citing law and providing examples of letters and check lists, information is outlined in concise and understandable terms. The subject matter is broken down into the simplest legal language possible considering the depth and complexity. Believable examples make sense of it all, guiding the reader step by step.

As anybody knows, legal reading can be dry and confusing. Admittedly, there were a few places I personally had to re-read but that would be attributed to my own lack of experience with the subject. I found the examples very useful and was able to utilize the bullet points and checklists to realize the meaning of it all. It was an eye-opening learning experience to read this book! I never realized how much is involved in filing such a suit, getting an investigation underway, working with both parties, and finding resolution. Businesses should consider having this book in their own library as a reference guide in their personnel department. This work could be used as a stand-alone in training sessions for employees and managements. The tremendous effort the author has put into “Civil Rights Investigations Under the Workforce Investment Act” is immediately evident. Nothing is left to question and, should there be any residual wonder, references can be looked up. Highly recommended! 5 out of 5 stars!

Lori M. states: Because I am currently taking a graduate-level Human Resources class in Employment Law, this book about civil rights investigations by Seena K. Foster interested me very much. This would make an excellent reference book for HR managers, lawyers, and anyone involved in employee or labor issues. It is very well-organized and provides just the right amount of information that you need on a number of different topics. Foster, who has a law degree, does a good job making the contents interesting, understandable, and easy to follow.

There are specific sections defining race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, citizenship, and disability issues in depth so that any reader can understand what constitutes the definition of discrimination against each. Additionally, she takes you through the steps of how to determine whether or not you have a discrimination complaint, a glossary of terms, jurisdiction, and filing the complaint. I like how Foster included easy-to-use checklists throughout the book to graphically depict what she has already told you in the text. It is a good way to help the reader grasp the information provided and double-check the details. This book talks about statutes of limitations and time frames within which a party has to file a complaint, notifying the parties of a complaint, jurisdictional issues, and even alternative dispute resolution topics such as arbitration or mediation. This book is a great toolkit for those interested in employment law matters dealing with civil rights investigations under the workforce investment act and Title VI-related laws. 5 out of 5 stars!

Alice D. states: “Civil Rights Investigations Under the Workforce Investment Act and Other Title VI Related Laws” is a book that really needed to be written and now it has been, thank goodness! Author Seena Foster has created a book that focuses on the treatment of individual and class action complaints. From the beginning where she asks the readers to decide whether they have a complaint and whether there is jurisdiction to investigate the complaint, Foster clearly establishes that those pursuing an issue such as discrimination must have merit; in other words, they must have a covered basis such as race, gender and nationality. She is quite clear in insisting that the person charged with the complaint must receive federal funds, and the CP, the charging party, must know how to organize a complaint, how to fill it with statistics and witness information. Then she shows the reader how exactly the CP and the respondent must reply in cases involving such things as employment, hostile work environ ment, and disability. She discusses sexual harassment, especially in the school environment, and writes about the use of mediation in helping parties come to a mutually acceptable solution. Do you think your civil rights have been violated at work? This is the book for you.

“Civil Rights Investigations” is not the type of book that people will grab off bookstore shelves, but they should. Author Seena Foster discusses, clearly and concisely, how the charging party and the respondent should respond in a variety of cases. Chapter after chapter deals with how to handle potential civil rights violations in the workplace and in federally funded programs and activities that have an impact on all of us. The author states that those filing the complaint must give details like why they were not hired, etc., and those who answer the claim must show the same clarity in their response. Specific and easy to read, this book should be in readers’ hands everywhere. 5 out of 5 stars!

Laurie Gray states: “Civil Rights Investigations under the Workforce Investment Act and Other Title VI-Related Laws from Intake to Final Determination” by Seena K. Foster offers guidance to professionals handling discrimination complaints for governmental agencies and employers that receive federal funding covered by the Workforce Investment Act of 1964. The book focuses on individual and class actions as opposed to third-party complaints, identifying and devoting a chapter to each protected class: race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, citizenship, age, political affiliation and belief. The chapters on sexual harassment, religion, and disability are most comprehensive. Foster provides specific examples, sample notices, and clear explanations on how to assess the merit of each complaint, properly frame the issues, develop a Complaint Investigation Plan, and investigate complaints without violating confidentiality policies. She further outlines the relevant burdens of proof and reliability of direct, circumstantial and comparative evidence. Though not for the average lay person, this book is an invaluable resource for its target audience of professionals who must respond to complaints of discrimination in a timely and consistent manner or risk losing their agencies’ federal funding. Ms. Foster clearly understands complex federal laws and regulations and concisely organizes the information in a user-friendly way, highlighting important deadlines, providing detailed questions to ask complaining parties and respondents, and encouraging professionals to seek competent legal advice when necessary. An introduction, conclusion and biography outlining the author’s credentials would be helpful additions to the next edition of the book. I do hope that Ms. Foster will update this informative guide as the laws continue to evolve. 5 out of 5 stars!

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.

OFCCP Launches a New Outreach and Recruitment Database for Contractors

Friday, March 21st, 2014

On March 13, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched a new database 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 Disability and Veterans Community Resources Directory on the OFCCP Web site at http://www.dol-esa.gov/errd/resources.html. This new resource supplements the agency’s existing Employment Resources Referral Directory (ERRD).

Congressional Letter to Labor Secretary Perez Seeking LGBT Protections by Job Corps, One Stop Career Centers, Federal Contractors, and in Veterans’ Programs

Monday, March 10th, 2014

By letter dated March 5, 2014, to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, several Democratic members of Congress promoted the need for improvements in the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the Labor Department’s programs and activities. The Members of Congress assert:

[T]here is more that the Department (of Labor) can do to alleviate the high rates of unemployment and discrimination faced by LGBT workers around the country. The Department has tools at its disposal to address these barriers impacting the ability of LGBT people to thrive in the American economy.

These congressional representatives specifically stated they “would like to know more about what the Department is doing for LGBT workers generally” and in certain program areas, including the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP’s) enforcement of existing Executive Orders and how LGBT people can be better covered as OFCCP’s implementation of the 2012 ruling of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Macy v. Holder, wherein the Commission held “gender identity is a protected category under existing federal civil rights protections covering sex.” Moreover, the representatives seek information regarding the Employment and Training Administration’s “inclusion of, and guidance on, LGBT and gender non-conforming youth” in Job Corps programs and One Stop Center programs as well as Veterans Employment Training Services’ inclusion of LGBt veterans in its programs and policies. The Members of Congress note:

Due in large part to systemic discrimination in education, housing, and employment, LGBT people are at increased risk for poverty throughout the lifetime. Employment protections are a vital step towards ending this discrimination and increasing economic opportunity and stability for LGBT workers and their families.

The Congress Members concluded by stating, “[W]are aware of the need for better inclusion of LGBT individuals . . . and we are eager to hear from you on where these changes stand.”

OFCCP Guidance: The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, Implementation of New Rules Effective March 24, 2014

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

The following guidance was issued by the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. For more information, go to www.dol.gov/ofccp.

On August 27, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced a Final Rule that makes changes to the regulations implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, as amended (VEVRAA) at 41 CFR Part 60-300. VEVRAA prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against protected veterans, and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these veterans. The Final Rule strengthens the affirmative action provisions of the regulations to aid contractors in their efforts to recruit and hire protected veterans and improve job opportunities for protected veterans.

The Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2013, and becomes effective on March 24, 2014. However, current contractors with a written affirmative action program (AAP) already in place on the effective date have additional time to come into compliance with the AAP requirements. The compliance structure seeks to provide contractors the opportunity to maintain their current AAP cycle.

Highlights of the Final Rule:

Rescission of 41 CFR Part 60-250: The Final Rule rescinds the outdated 41 CFR Part 60-250 in its entirety. However, veterans that were formerly protected only under Part 60-250 will still be protected from discrimination under the revised 41 CFR Part 60-300.

Hiring benchmarks The Final Rule requires that contractors establish annual hiring benchmarks for protected veterans. Contractors must use one of two methods to establish their benchmarks. Contractors may choose to establish a benchmark equal to the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force, which will be published and updated annually by OFCCP. Alternatively, contractors may establish their own benchmarks using certain data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Veterans’ Employment and Training Service/Employment and Training Administration (VETS/ETA) that will be also be published by OFCCP, as well other factors that reflect the contractor’s unique hiring circumstances. The data will be posted in the Benchmark Database.

Data collection: The Final Rule requires that contractors document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of veterans who apply for jobs and the number of veterans they hire. Having this data will assist contractors in measuring the effectiveness of their outreach and recruitment efforts. The data must be maintained for three years to be used to spot trends.

Invitation to Self-Identify: The Final Rule requires that contractors invite applicants to self-identify as protected veterans at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process. The Final Rule includes sample invitations to self-identify that contractors may use.

Incorporation of the EO Clause: The Final Rule requires that specific language be used when incorporating the equal opportunity clause into a subcontract by reference. The mandated language, though brief, will alert subcontractors to their responsibilities as Federal contractors.

Job Listings: The Final Rule clarifies that when listing their job openings, contractors must provide that information in a manner and format permitted by the appropriate State or local job service, so that it can access and use the information to make the job listings available to job seekers.

Records Access: The Final Rule clarifies that contractors must allow OFCCP to review documents related to a compliance check or focused review, either on-site or off-site, at OFCCP’s option. In addition, the Final Rule requires contractors, upon request, to inform OFCCP of all formats in which it maintains its records and provide them to OFCCP in whichever of those formats OFCCP requests.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (February 28, 2014)

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Assistant Secretary Martinez – Advancing Inclusion

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez provided closing remarks to more than 75 Washington, D.C.-area business advocates and allies on February 21 at an LGBT Power Symposium sponsored by the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. “When we make strides toward equality for any community, whether the disability community, the LGBT community, or any other historically marginalized population, it benefits all of us,” said Martinez.

Federal Communications Commission Releases Standards on Closed Captioning for Television

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unanimously approved standards defining the components necessary for high quality closed captions on television. The new standards explain that to be fully accessible, closed captions on television programs must accurately convey dialogue and sounds in the program, and run from the beginning to the end of the program. In addition, captions must be timed so that they generally do not lag far behind the program’s dialogue and must be placed so they do not block other important information on the screen. The new rules also ensure better access to local news on TV. Further, the Order explains how the new standards apply to pre-recorded, live, and near-live programming, and identifies best practices for video programmers, captioning vendors, and captioners. The new rules will be evaluated again one year after they become effective to ensure full access to TV programming.

NCWD/Youth Publishes Article on Individualized Learning Plans in Education Week

In an article, “Planning for Life After High School,” published in Education Week, V. Scott Solberg of the Boston University School of Education, and Curtis Richards with the Institute for Educational Leadership, write about the importance of individualized learning plans (ILPs) in helping students, including students with disabilities, transition between school and college or work while keeping students engaged and families involved in learning. Solberg and Richards, who lead ODEP’s National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), discuss the research they have conducted on exemplary ILP implementation strategies.

US Business Leadership Network Accepting Applications for Executive Education Scholarships – Deadline March 10

The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) is now seeking applications for its new Executive Education Scholarships for certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (DOBE®s) to attend the Tuck School at Dartmouth University for a week-long educational program. These five scholarships, underwritten by Wells Fargo, underscore the role that executive education plays in providing business leaders innovative learning tools for the continuous improvement of their companies. Applicants must be DOBE®s and meet the selection criteria, including USBLN® certification, 3-10+ years in business, and the ability to articulate a future vision and business direction. Applications are due March 10.

Stephen M. Wing “Take Flight” Scholarship for Job Training and Education Open for Applications – Deadline March 21

The Stephen M. Wing “Take Flight” Scholarship is designed to assist individuals committed to advancing their career paths by increasing their employment and education opportunities. Eligible candidates include part-time and full-time students attending trade school, community college or university, participating in internships or enrolled/enrolling in other training programs within three months from May 2014, when the scholarships will be distributed by the Partnership for American Veterans Employment and Education Solutions (PAVES). The scholarship can be awarded in various increments; no minimum request will be ignored. The maximum request may not exceed $5,000 for a single application. Applicants may apply for scholarships to go towards college tuition, books, lab fees, training program enrollment, certification classes and tests, leadership programs, computers and laptops, support and counseling services or other products and services to advance education and employment opportunities. Individuals may nominate themselves or be nominated by peers, co-workers, family members or colleagues. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and a permanent resident of the U.S. Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis, and are due March 21.

Federal Communications Commission Accepting Nominations for Third Annual Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility – Deadline March 31

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking nominations for the third annual Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility. The awards honor outstanding private and public sector initiatives that advance accessibility for people with disabilities. Awards will be given in several categories. The contest is open to any individual or entity in the public or private sector, or a combination thereof. Self-nominations and those made by a third party will be accepted. Winners and honorable mentions will receive their awards from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in June 2014. Nominations must be emailed by March 31.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (February 7, 2014)

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

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

A Powerful Message for Youth with Disabilities — Assistant Secretary Martinez’s Blog

In a post on the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez recounted the story of Derrick Coleman of the Seattle Seahawks, the first legally deaf member of an NFL offense, and his nine-year-old fan Riley Kovalcik who, like Coleman, wears hearing aids. “This heartwarming story reinforces the importance of what I like to call “look-alike mentors” for young people with disabilities — something that lies at the heart of our work at ODEP,” said Martinez.

Inclusive Ads, Positive Portrayals — Assistant Secretary Martinez Discusses Disability-Inclusive Advertising and Entertainment

Leaders in the advertising and entertainment industries, including corporate, industry associations and union representatives along with diversity thought leaders, gathered in New York City on February 4 to discuss the need for disability-inclusive diversity in advertising on large, small and personal screens. Assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez headlined the event, which helped promote an upcoming pair of industry summits called Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0. “Together we have the power to raise awareness and change minds,” said Martinez. “We have the power to foster a more inclusive entertainment industry, and a stronger, more inclusive American workforce in general—one where every person who wants to work, does work, and where America’s promise of equal opportunity for all truly means all.”

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

The LEAD Center’s Policy Update — Employment, Health Care and Disability provides 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 just-released January update features articles on the new CMS home and community-based care services (HCBS) regulations, a proposed bill to fund integrated employment, Medicaid expansion and several articles on managed care for long-term services and supports (LTSS) in various states. Each monthly update will be published to the Resource Center found on the LEAD Center website. Subscribers who sign up to receive LEAD Center news and information will receive notice of each newly published update.

Webinar for New Federal Disability Program Managers — February 26, 2014, 2:00-3:30 PM EST

The “You’ve Just Been Appointed a Federal Disability Program Manager — Now What?” webinar will explore all the tools new federal Disability Program Managers (DPMs) need to be successful and to build a strong foundation for their agency’s disability program. Effective techniques, strategies and programs will be discussed, including the Schedule A appointing authority, targeted recruitment, free resources and much more. The webinar is designed for DPMs with little or no experience in the field. It will be presented on February 26, 2014, 2:00-3:30 PM EST, and is open to individuals with a .gov or .mil email address.

Job Accommodation Network Publishes Quarterly E-News

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has published its first quarterly E-News for 2014. Topics include finding resources for compliance with the new Section 503 regulations and VEVRAA, providing temporary accommodation solutions, and dealing with illegal drug use disclosures, among others. Also listed are links to JAN publications and archived webcasts.

LEAD Center Policy Roundtable Report Now Available

The LEAD Center has released the report from its first bi-annual 2013 Policy Roundtable held July 17-18, 2013 in Washington, DC. These policy roundtables bring together stakeholders — including federal agency leaders, state and local agency policymakers, practitioners and subject matter experts — to share knowledge and promote cross-system collaboration to advance individual and systems level change to promote employment and economic advancement for people with disabilities. The 2013 LEAD Center Policy Roundtable and corresponding report, both entitled “Making Collaboration Real,” focus on building a progressive vision to leverage resources effectively across systems to promote employment and socioeconomic advancement of youth and adults with disabilities.

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

Pre-employment disability inquiries: New federally-approved form by OFCCP/OMB for federal contractors and subcontractors

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Contract Compliance Programs and the Office of Management and Budget have released a new form, which is titled “Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability,” for use by federal contractors and subcontractors when conducting pre-employment disability inquiries pursuant to the revised regulations at 41 C.F.R. 60-741. The purpose of these inquiries is to promote recruitment and hiring of persons with disabilities, including veterans with disabilities. For more information, go to www.dol.gov/ofccp.

The content of the form is as follows:

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability
Form CC-305 OMB Control Number 1250-0005

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

Because we do business with the government, we must reach out to, hire, and provide equal opportunity to qualified people with disabilities.i To help us measure how well we are doing, we are asking you to tell us if you have a disability or if you ever had a disability. Completing this form is voluntary, but we hope that you will choose to fill it out. If you are applying for a job, any answer you give will be kept private and will not be used against you in any way.

If you already work for us, your answer will not be used against you in any way. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we are required to ask all of our employees to update their information every five years. You may voluntarily self-identify as having a disability on this form without fear of any punishment because you did not identify as having a disability earlier.

How do I know if I have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to: • Blindness • Autism • Bipolar disorder • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) • Deafness • Cerebral palsy • Major depression • Obsessive compulsive disorder • Cancer • HIV/AIDS • Multiple sclerosis (MS) • Impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair • Diabetes • Epilepsy • Schizophrenia • Muscular • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs • Intellectual disability (previously called mental retardation) • dystrophy

Please check one of the boxes below:

Your Name ___________________________________________

Today’s Date _________________________________________

___ YES, I HAVE A DISABILITY (or previously had a disability)

___ NO, I DON’T HAVE A DISABILITY

___ I DON’T WISH TO ANSWER

Reasonable Accommodation Notice

Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Please tell us if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job or to perform your job. Examples of reasonable accommodation include making a change to the application process or work procedures, providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (January 24, 2014)

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

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

Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council Welcomes Assistant Secretary Martinez

Federal employment initiatives for people with disabilities were the focus of assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez’s remarks to the board members of the Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council and other representatives of the disability community at a gathering on January 16 in Harrisburg, PA. Martinez addressed topics including the Affordable Care Act, Executive Order 13548 (Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities), changes to the regulations for Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and resources available from the Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Helping the Federal Workforce Reflect the Citizenry It Serves — Assistant Secretary Martinez’s Blog

In a post on the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez discussed employment of people with disabilities in the federal sector, focusing on the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) as a pipeline to bring talented college students and recent graduates with disabilities into public service.

Assistant Secretary Martinez Discusses Workforce Development and Economic Development in Fedcap Blog

Assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy Kathy Martinez, in a Fedcap blog, answered questions about the workforce development system, youth transition, myths and stereotypes about people with disabilities, and a wide range of other topics related to disability employment. Fedcap is a nonprofit organization that develops solutions that help people surmount barriers, work toward economic independence, and effect change in their families and communities.

Fact Sheet on Section 503 and VEVRAA Tools Now Available from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) has released a fact sheet on the changes to the regulations for Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). The fact sheet helps federal contractors quickly and easily identify valuable resources for updating their recruitment, hiring, and employment practices to comply with the new regulations.

Employer Assistance and Resource Network Releases New Reports from the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) released two new reports on disability employment that were written by researchers from the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. The research was produced under the auspices of the National Technical Assistance, Policy, and Research Center for Employers on Employment of People with Disabilities and funded by a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy to Cornell University. One of the reports looks at states as model employers of people with disabilities, while the other examines advancing economic opportunities for business owners and job seekers with disabilities.

First Executive Order Issued by New Virginia Governor Requires “Equal Opportunity” in State Government (January 14, 2014)

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Virginia’s Governor McAuliffe issues his first Executive Order, and it focuses on requiring nondiscrimination in employment practices of the Commonwealth of Virginia on the bases of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, political affiliation, and disability. Moreover, Executive Order Number 1 prohibits discrimination against veterans, and permits “employment preferences for veterans” where appropriate. The Executive Order also promotes affirmative measures to “emphasize the recruitment of qualified minorities, women, disabled persons, and older Virginians to serve at all levels of state government.” Below is the text of the newly-issued Executive Order Number 1 (2014):

Importance of the Initiative

By virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor, I hereby declare that it is the firm and unwavering policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia to assure equal opportunity in all facets of state government. The foundational tenet of this Executive Order is premised upon a steadfast commitment to foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, and mutual respect for all Virginians.

This policy specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. The policy permits appropriate employment preferences for veterans and specifically prohibits discrimination against veterans.

State appointing authorities and other management principals are hereby directed to take affirmative measures, as determined by the Director of the Department of Human Resource Management, to emphasize the recruitment of qualified minorities, women, disabled persons, and older Virginians to serve at all levels of state government. This directive does not permit or require the lowering of bona fide job requirements, performance standards, or qualifications to give preference to any state employee or applicant for state employment.

Allegations of violations of this policy shall be brought to the attention of the Office of Equal Employment Services of the Department of Human Resource Management. No state appointing authority, other management principal, or supervisor shall take retaliatory actions against persons making such allegations.

Any state employee found in violation of this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

The Secretary of Administration is directed to review and update annually state procurement, employment, and other relevant policies to ensure compliance with the non-discrimination mandate contained herein, and shall report to the Governor his or her findings together with such recommendations as he or she deems appropriate. The Director of the Department of Human Resource Management shall assist in this review.

This Executive Order supersedes and rescinds Executive Order No. 6 (2010), Equal Opportunity, issued by Governor Robert F. McDonnell on February 5, 2010.

Effective Date of the Executive Order

This Executive Order shall become effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect until amended or rescinded by further executive order.

Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 11th day of January 2014.

Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor