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Archive for March, 2016

Promising Practices In Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

The Section 188 Disability Reference Guide provides updated information and technical assistance that can help American Job Centers and their partners in the workforce development system meet the nondiscrimination and universal access requirements for individuals with disabilities in Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act. This reference guide includes examples of promising practices that can help promote equal access for individuals with disabilities to the American Job Center (One Stop) system.

View Training and Employment Notice 1-15 (PDF)

View Promising Practices in Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide (PDF)

To review the guide, go to

EEOC: Mavis Discount Tire to Pay $2.1 Million to Settle EEOC Class Sex Discrimination Lawsuit (Mar. 25, 2016)

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Tire Retailer Violated Federal Law by Systemically Refusing to Hire Women in Its Field Locations, Federal Agency Charged

NEW YORK – Mavis Discount Tire, Inc. / Mavis Tire Supply Corp. / Mavis Tire NY, Inc. / Cole Muffler, Inc., a large tire retailer based in the New York metropolitan area, will pay $2.1 million and provide other relief to settle a class sex discrimination lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, Mavis engaged in a pattern or practice of sex discrimination by refusing to hire women for its field positions – managers, assistant managers, mechanics, and tire technicians – in the company’s over 140 stores throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. EEOC also charged that Mavis failed to make, keep, and preserve employment records.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Case No. 12-CV-00741) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The consent decree settling the suit, entered by Judge Katherine P. Failla on March 24, 2016, provides that Mavis will pay $2.1 million, to be divided among 46 aggrieved women. Also, the decree provides for extensive safeguards to prevent future discrimination by implementing hiring goals for women, a comprehensive recruitment and hiring protocol, and anti-discrimination policies and training.

“We are pleased that as a result of this settlement, Mavis will be making concerted, verifiable efforts to hire more women at all of its field locations,” EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Raechel Adams said.

EEOC New York District Director Kevin Berry added, “This case exemplifies EEOC’s commitment to remedying systemic bias. EEOC found that Mavis for years had maintained a pattern of not hiring women at its field locations. This settlement ensures that qualified women will continue to be hired in the future – and advances EEOC’s first priority in its Strategic Enforcement Plan, eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring.”

EEOC General Counsel David Lopez said, “We are pleased that during Women’s History Month, we were able to announce this settlement, which is one in a series of EEOC cases nationally to address discriminatory barriers for women. Moving forward, qualified female applicants will be judged by their talents and skill and not simply passed over because of their gender – and women who were denied positions will be compensated.”

The elimination of recruiting and hiring practices that discriminate against women, racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, and people with disabilities is one of six national priorities identified by EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

EEOC’s New York District Office oversees New York, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and parts of New Jersey. EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the agency is available at its website at

President of Miami-Based Transportation Company Sentenced to 60 Months in Prison for Role in $70 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme (Mar. 25, 2016)

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

The president of a transportation company based in Miami was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for his role in a health care fraud scheme involving three mental health centers that resulted in the submission of approximately $70 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Division made the announcement.

Damian Mayol, 45, of Miami, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro of the Southern District of Florida, who also ordered Mayol to pay $26,808,841 in restitution and to forfeit the same amount. In January 2016, Mayol was convicted of conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks after a five-day trial.

According to evidence presented at trial, Mayol was the president of Transportation Services Providers Inc. and, along with his co-conspirators, used the company to coordinate the payment of illegal health care kickbacks to recruiters, who in return referred patients to three now-defunct clinics in the Miami area: R&S Community Mental Health Inc. (R&S), St. Theresa Community Mental Health Center Inc. (St. Theresa) and New Day Community Mental Health Center LLC (New Day).

The evidence introduced at trial further established that R&S, St. Theresa and New Day were community mental health centers that purported to provide intensive mental health services to Medicare beneficiaries. On behalf of the recruited beneficiaries, the centers billed Medicare for costly partial hospitalization program (PHP) services that were not medically necessary or not provided to patients, according to trial evidence. Trial evidence demonstrated that patient records, including group therapy session notes, were falsified to support claims for reimbursement from Medicare. Between January 2008 and December 2010, the centers submitted approximately $70 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. Medicare paid approximately $28 million on those claims, the evidence showed.

In December 2015, co-defendants Santiago Borges, Erik Alonso and Cristina Alonso were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 28 months to 120 months on related charges.

The FBI investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida. Trial Attorneys A. Brendan Stewart and Timothy Loper of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged over 2,300 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for over $7 billion. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS Office of Inspector General, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (Mar. 18, 2016)

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

For more information, go to

Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities to Meet April 27-28, 2016

The next meeting of the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) will take place on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, and Thursday, April 28, 2016. The meeting will be open to the public on Wednesday, April 27 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM EDT. On Thursday, April 28, the meeting will be open to the public from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT. The meeting will take place at the U.S. Access Board, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004-1111. On April 27 and 28, the four subcommittees of the Committee will report out on their work since the last meeting of the Committee. In addition, the entire Committee will discuss recommendations regarding the AbilityOne® program. Also, the Committee will consider recommendations regarding the certificate program under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The whole Committee will also discuss next steps and timelines for the final report. The public comment period of the meeting will take place on April 27 from 2:45 PM to 3:45 PM EDT. Instructions for submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register Notice. The deadline for submitting comments is April 15.

LEAD Center Issues Resources to Use in Reviewing State WIOA Unified or Combined State Plans from a Disability Perspective

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires the Governor of each State to submit a Unified or Combined State Plan to the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL) by April 1, 2016 that outlines a four-year strategy for the State’s workforce development system to provide services and supports that assist all job-seekers in securing good jobs while providing businesses with skilled workers. States must have approved State Plans in place to receive funding for the six core programs under WIOA. In order to ensure that these Unified or Combined State Plans address the needs of individuals with disabilities, as required by WIOA, the LEAD Center has created two guides that can be used by local and state Workforce Development Boards, disability-related stakeholders, and workforce partners as a tool when reviewing their state’s plan from a disability perspective. Also provided are the LEAD Center’s Review of 10 Unified and Combined WIOA State Plans and a link to a Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 14-15 published on March 4, 2016 by DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

Employment First Policy Established by Governor’s Executive Order in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed Executive Order 2016-03 — Establishing “Employment First” Policy and Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Pennsylvanians with a Disability. Through its participation as a Core State in ODEP’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP), the implementation of this policy reflects an outcome of the work in Pennsylvania under its Employment First technical assistance plan and as part of its Vision Quest work in FY2015. As stated in the text of the Executive Order, “Pennsylvania government is actively committed to promoting improved competitive integrated employment outcomes through its involvement as a core state selected by the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program.” ODEP congratulates the state of Pennsylvania for its commitment to expanding competitive integrated employment opportunities for Pennsylvanians with disabilities through the establishment of this Employment First policy, and is gratified to have had the opportunity to work with them in this important effort.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued its March 16 newsletter, featuring information on an EARN policy brief on EEOC’s Section 501 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the “Side by Side” social media campaign, Brain Injury Awareness Month, future webinars, and more.

OPM Presents Webinar for Federal Employees on Adult Dependent Caregivers — March 24, 2:00-3:30 PM EDT

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will present a webinar on “Work-Life Supports for Federal Employees with Adult Dependent Care Responsibilities” on March 24, 2:00-3:30 PM EDT. About 25.8 million family caregivers provide personal assistance to individuals 18 years or older who have a disability (physical and/or cognitive) or chronic illness. During this webinar, participants will learn critical information related to workplace, education, health care, and transportation supports for federal employees and their dependents and/or other family members with disabilities or health conditions. Speakers include Carol Boyer from the Department of Labor and Doris Rippey from OPM.

SSA Hosts WISE Webinar on Ticket to Work and Financial Independence — March 23, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will host a National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) webinar on March 23, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT. The webinar “Make it Happen: The Ticket to Financial Freedom” is aimed at those who receive Social Security disability benefits, and will present experts who will discuss how Ticket to Work and other work incentives can help with goal setting to reach financial independence. Participants will gain basic financial knowledge such as budgeting and expense tracking, and learn about tax benefits and asset building. Registration is available online or at 866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY).

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (Mar. 4, 2016)

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Welcomes Deputy Assistant Secretary Sheehy

On February 25, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy spoke as part of a panel at a summit held in Washington, DC, in honor of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation’s (MEAF) 25th anniversary. The corporate foundation of the Mitsubishi Electric group companies in the U.S., MEAF funds a variety of projects to empower youth with disabilities to lead productive lives through increased employment.

PEAT Talk on the Importance of User Testing for Accessibility — March 17, 2:00 PM ET

The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) will present a PEAT Talk on March 17 at 2:00 PM ET. The speaker will be Sharron Rush, co-founder and executive director of Knowbility, who will talk about the importance of user testing to ensure that workplace technologies are truly accessible. PEAT Talks is a monthly virtual speaker series to showcase organizations and individuals whose work is advancing accessible technology in the workplace. Held the third Thursday of every month at 2:00 PM ET, these events are designed to be energetic and interactive discussions highlighting a spectrum of exciting work. Featured speakers will deliver a 10- to 15- minute talk and then field questions from attendees.

“Advancing State Policy for a More Inclusive Workforce” National Online Dialogue

As states strive to promote workforce inclusion, people with disabilities are a key part of the solution. Recognizing this, the Office of Disability Employment Policy launched the State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED), a collaborative of state intermediary organizations committed to assisting busy state legislators in effectively addressing policy barriers that may hinder the employment of people with disabilities. The Council of State Governments (CSG) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) are partnering to convene a National Task Force on Workforce Development and Employability for People with Disabilities in collaboration with SEED. In preparation for the first meeting of the National Task Force, CSG and NCSL are interested in hearing from individuals involved in state policymaking efforts about their experiences with state level disability employment-related policy, including existing state-sponsored legislation, executive orders, regulations, programs, and studies. This online dialogue is open to anyone interested in joining the conversation, and state representatives and policymakers are encouraged to participate. The dialogue will run until the National Task Force convenes on March 19.

LEAD Center Issues 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 President Obama’s 2017 Budget, a new HCBS toolkit from the HCBS Advocacy Coalition, the newly released StatsRRTC Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, an update on Washington State’s HCBS Transition Plan, and more.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued its March 2 newsletter, featuring information on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s proposed rule on affirmative action in disability hiring for federal agencies, a new resource from the Society for Human Resource Management on the aging workforce, disability inclusion training as an effective employment practice, future webinars, and more.

NCWD/Youth Hosts Webinar with CAST on Improving Postsecondary Outcomes with Universal Design for Learning

On February 17, the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) and CAST hosted a webinar for postsecondary institutions on how to use Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to improve retention and graduation rates. The webinar provided an orientation to UDL and explained how postsecondary education professionals use evidence-based UDL practices to facilitate engaged learning for all students. This webinar is part of a series for postsecondary education faculty and staff hosted by NCWD/Youth. The full recording and transcript are available online.

JAN Archives Webcast on Accommodations in the Federal Workforce

An archived version of the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) webcast “Successfully Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Workforce” is now available on the JAN website. In this February 17 event, JAN consultants shared real-life accommodation scenarios from the federal sector, provided practical ideas for making successful accommodations in the workplace, and discussed possible solutions to current accommodation challenges.

Social Security Administration Publishes ANPRM on Ticket to Work Program

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit public input on whether and how to revise the current Ticket to Work program rules to help both beneficiaries and the providers that serve them through the program. SSA is requesting comments and suggestions by April 11.

U.S. Department of Education Releases NPRM to Improve Equity for Students with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to address equity for students with disabilities of color under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The proposed Equity in IDEA rule would, for the first time, require states to implement a standard approach to compare racial and ethnic groups, with reasonable thresholds for determining when disparities have become significant. The proposed rule would also provide identified districts with new flexibility to support the needs of students.

Kessler Foundation Announces Signature Employment Grants

The Kessler Foundation has announced the availability of its Signature Employment Grants. The grants are awarded nationally each year to fund new pilot initiatives, demonstration projects, or social ventures that lead to the generation of new ideas to solve the high unemployment and underemployment of individuals with any type of disability. Preference is given for interventions that overcome specific employment barriers related to long-term dependence on public assistance, advance competitive employment in a cost-effective manner, or launch a social enterprise or individual entrepreneurship project. Projects must be collaborative, serve a large geographic area, and include multiple funding partners and stakeholders. In addition, initiatives or projects must have the potential for growth, scalability, or replication. The deadline for online grant concept applications is March 18 at 5:00 PM EDT.