Major law change: Section 503 to Hire People with Disabilities to take Effect on Monday, March 24


OFCCP Final Rule to Improve Job Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
OFCCP 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Final Rule Fact Sheet

Beginning Monday, March 24th, 2014, businesses that work with the Federal Government will be required to set goals to employ people with disabilities at a rate of 7 percent and in doing so, keep track of their progress. The new law permits companies to invite employees to self-disclose a disability, allowing the company to conduct an internal census. With this data, companies can ensure their recruiting and hiring practices do not inadvertently exclude qualified candidates with disabilities. Employee are not required to disclose a disability.

This rule change stems from an effort to combat chronic unemployment of people with disabilities. Most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2012:

1) The unemployment rate for non-disabled Americans stood at 8 percent, but almost doubled to 15 percent for people with disabilities;
2) The workforce participation rate for non-disabled Americans was 31.6 percent, while 76.5 percent of people with disabilities in the same age group were out of the work force entirely;
3) Median household income for a person reporting a disability was $25,420, compared to $59,411 for someone without a disability“ These numbers remain unchanged over the past 40 years despite dramatic improvements in access to physical workplaces, technology, and policy,” says attorney David Newburger, co-director of Starkloff Disability Institute. “Many people with disabilities want to work but face barriers.”

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Give Nurses in Wheelchairs a Chance

Give Nurses in Wheelchairs a Chance
Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , December 10, 2013

Although some nurse leaders cling to the rigid requirements of the profession, others are making accommodations for nurses in wheelchairs, sending a powerful message to patients in the process.
A “walking interview” is one of the questionable—to say the least—tactics that one prospective supervisor used during a nursing job interview with Marianne Haugh.
“I had one walking interview…to see if I could handle their huge unit,” Haugh recalls, a note incredulity still present in her voice when she talks about it. Haugh was born with spina bifida, and although she can walk short distances, she relies primarily on a wheelchair to get around.

Americans with disabilities may be the best workers no one’s hiring

Americans with disabilities may be the best workers no one’s hiring

Walgreens actually prefers disabled employees because they’re more efficient workers, explains a new report

BY THE MONITOR’S EDITORIAL BOARD

Walgreens and now a report by the National Governors Association show businesses can benefit by seeing disabled workers not as charity cases but employees with uncommon qualities that can enhance profits.

Few people noticed, but last week marked the 23rd anniversary of the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That landmark law is best known for mandating such conveniences as designated parking for people with disabilities, wheelchair ramps, and Braille on elevators. A whole generation has now benefited from it. But one thing has not changed very much for America’s 54 million disabled people: landing a job.

That may change with a report last week by the National Governors Association. It is called “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities.” Note the words “bottom line.” The report aims to help states support a trend in American business led by Walgreens. Since 2007, the drugstore chain has hired those with disabilities not out of magnanimous charity but for the competitive advantage in employing disabled workers.

Studies of Walgreens’s experience at a few distribution centers show disabled workers are more efficient and loyal than nondisabled workers. Absenteeism has gone down, turnover is less, and safety statistics are up. And the cost of accommodating such workers with new technologies and education is minimal.

More than 100 executives of major companies have toured Walgreens distribution centers where at least a third of workers are physically or mentally disabled. And last year, the US Chamber of Commerce committed to increasing the employment of people with disabilities by 1 million by 2015.

“Walgreens has shown that people with these disabilities can work alongside people without disabilities,” says Sen. Tom Harkin (D) of Iowa. “You can’t tell who is who and which is which.”

This isn’t just a business trend but a societal change in attitude. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, the recent head of the governors association and the leader behind the report, says employers must focus on a person’s ability rather than disability – or even on how a disability enhances a person’s employability. Many disabled workers are so grateful for a job that they work harder. Some industries, such as software and data testing, prefer workers with certain disabilities, such as autism, because of a person’s intense focus on detail.

Still, business needs a partner in government to make this shift. The report cites successes in several states in linking up disabled people with employers and tracking the benefits of hiring such workers. Teens who are disabled need help, beginning in middle school, to assess their skills and the industries that need them. The report advises states to approach businesses with a proposition on the value that disabled workers bring to shareholders, not with “an appeal to their corporate responsibility.”

“Businesses tell states that they do not want to hire a candidate to meet a state’s need,” according to the report. “They want to hire a candidate that meets the business needs.”

Walgreens now plans to have at least a quarter of its workforce consist of people with disabilities. Other companies are following in its path. They have plenty of people to pick from. Only 1 of 3 disabled adults is employed. Finding them is half the battle. State governments are best equipped to help in such recruitment.

The incentive for government to encourage this trend is strong. More than a third of people on income-based assistance are disabled. Studies show employing them raises tax revenue and reduces entitlement spending.  But more than money is at stake. Disabled people simply want to be treated for the best they can offer – which might just be better than what a potential employer presumes.

Americans with disabilities may be the best workers no one’s hiring

Americans with disabilities may be the best workers no one’s hiring

Walgreens actually prefers disabled employees because they’re more efficient workers, explains a new report
BY THE MONITOR’S EDITORIAL BOARD

Walgreens and now a report by the National Governors Association show businesses can benefit by seeing disabled workers not as charity cases but employees with uncommon qualities that can enhance profits.

Few people noticed, but last week marked the 23rd anniversary of the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That landmark law is best known for mandating such conveniences as designated parking for people with disabilities, wheelchair ramps, and Braille on elevators. A whole generation has now benefited from it. But one thing has not changed very much for America’s 54 million disabled people: landing a job.

That may change with a report last week by the National Governors Association. It is called “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities.” Note the words “bottom line.” The report aims to help states support a trend in American business led by Walgreens. Since 2007, the drugstore chain has hired those with disabilities not out of magnanimous charity but for the competitive advantage in employing disabled workers.

LEAD Center partners with NOND

LEAD Center partners with NOND

The LEAD Center mission is to advance sustainable individual and systems level change that results in improved, competitive integrated employment and economic self- sufficiency outcomes for individuals across the spectrum of disability. The LEAD Center seeks effective partnerships in the public workforce system including state workforce agencies, state and local workforce boards, and representatives of other systems of service delivery and supports to youth and working age adults with disabilities.

Nurses With Disabilities: Professional Issues and Job Retention

Nurses With Disabilities: Professional Issues and Job Retention
Leslie Neal-Boylan, PhD, RN, CRRN, APRN, FNP-BC

Key Features:

  • Provides solutions regarding professional issues faced by nurses with disabilities
  • Helps nurse recruiters and administrators clarify and strengthen retention strategies
  • Features the voices of nurses with disabilities, nurse leaders, recruitment specialists, and patients
  • Buttressed by four research studies and written by the leading researcher in the field

CareerCast.com Reports Best Jobs for People with Disabilities

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Introduction
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Title I of the ADA covers employment by private employers with 15 or more employees as well as state and local government employers of the same size. Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act provides the same protections for federal employees and applicants for federal employment.

The ADA protects a qualified individual with a disability from disparate treatment or harassment based on disability, and also provides that, absent undue hardship, a qualified individual with a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodation to perform, or apply for, a job or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. The ADA also includes rules regarding when, and to what extent, employers may seek medical information from applicants or employees. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the employment provisions of the ADA. Most states also have their own laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of disability. Some of these laws may apply to smaller employers and provide protections in addition to those available under the ADA.

Health care is the largest industry in the American economy, and has a high incidence of occupational injury and illness.[1] Though they are “committed to promoting health through treatment and care for the sick and injured, health care workers, ironically, confront perhaps a greater range of significant workplace hazards than workers in any other sector.”[2] Health care jobs often involve potential exposure to airborne and bloodborne infectious disease, sharps injuries,[3] and other dangers; many health care jobs can also be physically demanding and mentally stressful.[4] Moreover, health care workers with occupational or non-occupational illness or injury may face unique challenges because of societal misperceptions that qualified health care providers must themselves be free from any physical or mental impairment.[5

Several Million Healthcare Workers Needed by 2020

Several Million Healthcare Workers Needed by 2020

Regardless of the fate of the Affordable Care Act, the United States will need 5.6 million new healthcare workers by 2020, according to a study.

The study, by researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce, also found that 4.6 million of those new workers will need education beyond high school.

“In healthcare, there are really two labor markets — professional and support,” Anthony P. Carnevale, the report’s lead author and director of the Center on Education and Workforce, said in a news release. “Professional jobs demand postsecondary training and advanced degrees, while support jobs demand high school and some colleges.”

There is “minimal mobility” between the two, Carnevale said, “and the pay gap is enormous — the average professional worker makes 2.5 times as much as the average support worker.”