December 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

We hope this initiative provides concrete support for all the resources needed for employment – e.g. accurate real time speech-to-text whenever needed. See the recent blog here about “Government” also please – where funds are set aside for captioning support at work, it works!

US Labor Department Proposes historic hiring goal for federal
contractors and subcontractors

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new rule that
would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring
goal of having 7 percent of their workforces be people with
disabilities, among other requirements. The department’s Office of
Federal Contract Compliance Programs invites public comment on this
proposal, which will be published in the Dec. 9 edition of the Federal

OFCCP’s proposed rule would strengthen the affirmative action
requirements established in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973 obligating federal contractors and subcontractors to ensure equal
employment opportunities for qualified workers with disabilities. The
proposed regulatory changes detail specific actions contractors must
take in the areas of recruitment, training, record keeping and policy
dissemination – similar to those that have long been required to
promote workplace equality for women and minorities. In addition, the
rule would clarify OFCCP’s expectations for contractors by providing
specific guidance on how to comply with the law.

“This proposed rule represents one of the most significant advances in
protecting the civil rights of workers with disabilities since the
passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Secretary of
Labor Hilda L. Solis. “President Obama has demonstrated a commitment
to people with disabilities. This proposed rule would help federal
contractors better fulfill their legal responsibility to hire
qualified workers with disabilities.”

Although Section 503 regulations have been in place for decades, the
current unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 13 percent,
1 1/2 times the rate of those without disabilities. Even more
discouraging, data published last week by the department’s Bureau of
Labor Statistics show stark disparities facing working-age individuals
with disabilities, with 79.2 percent outside the labor force
altogether, compared to 30.5 percent of those without disabilities.

“For nearly 40 years, the rules have said that contractors simply need
to make a ‘good faith’ effort to recruit and hire people with
disabilities. Clearly, that’s not working,” said OFCCP Director
Patricia A. Shiu. “Our proposal would define specific goals, require
real accountability and provide the clearest possible guidance for
employers seeking to comply with the law. What gets measured gets
done. And we’re in the business of getting things done.”

Establishing a 7 percent hiring goal for the employment of individuals
with disabilities would be a tool for contractors to measure the
effectiveness of their affirmative action efforts and thereby inform
their decision-making. The proposed rule also would enhance data
collection and record-keeping requirements – including for
documentation and processing of requests for reasonable accommodation
– in order to improve accountability. Additionally, it would ensure
annual self-reviews of employers’ recruitment and outreach efforts,
and add a new requirement for contractors to list job openings to
increase their pools of qualified applicants.

To read the notice of proposed rulemaking or submit a comment, visit
the federal e-rulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov.
Comments also can be submitted by mail to Debra Carr, Office of
Federal Contract Compliance Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, Room
C-3325, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.  20210. All
comments must be received by Feb. 7, 2012, and should include
identification number (RIN) 1250-AA02.

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

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov.
The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape
or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling             202-693-7828       or
TTY 202-693-7755.


§ One Response to EMPLOYMENT

  • ls says:

    This blog has a comment submitted that we cannot publish here – because it’s using inappropriate language. Yet we want to say we sympathize with the writer’s struggles to find employment.

    Some of the issues for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss relate to how fluent they are in communications with others. If in the USA, good English is essential for example, for most jobs. There may be other jobs that require much less fluency in English however, and a vocational rehab person should be able to assist.

    Dealing with the frustrations is quite challenging for many of us. It’s not easy, to put it mildly, to find others who are willing to take extra steps to help a deaf person examine his or her presentation, skills, experience, and qualifications.

    We do wish all job-seekers all the best! There are also individual coaches and counselors that might be able to help, yet of course this takes funds also. Another avenue of information and support may be online lists – discussion groups, as well as local chapters of NAD, HLAA, ALDA and the like.

    Finding a job is harder work than working at times! And captioning or other communication resources are essential.


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