Disability General

 

Is this considered #Bias?

On a recent transatlantic flight I was brought into a conversation about #bias.  One of the individuals stated that they did not think remaining silent when they saw or heard a colleague use inappropriate language or behavior toward another employee, should be considered bias, after all, they were not the ones doing or saying the wrong thing.  I totally disagree and I told him so.  The specific conversation was about a colleague referring to a manager’s decision as retarded and doing so in front of the other members of the team.  He told me that I was just being overly #sensitive.  So what do you think?  #Springboard wants to hear your thoughts.

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.

Q&A: How to Use Your Company’s Intranet to Bolster Compliance with New Federal Requirements on Employing Workers with Disabilities | Bloomberg BNA

HR personnel have long relied on their employers’ intranet sites to streamline standard functions such as receiving requests from employees and notifying employees of policy changes, but such sites also can support a federal contractor’s affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations toward individuals with disabilities.

Regs Set New Standards

Employers’ intranet sites are attracting renewed interest due to revised regulations issued by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Appendix A to Part 60-741 of the revised regulations, which went into effect March 24, 2014, encourages contractors to develop written reasonable accommodation procedures in order to satisfy their obligations under the revised rules.

The regulations require federal contractors to establish a nationwide goal of having individuals with disabilities make up 7 percent of their workforce in each job group. Establishments with fewer than 100 employees are required to set a 7 percent goal for their entire workforce.

Still, the revised regulations continue to face a legal challenge by a national construction trade group that has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The lawsuit doesn’t put compliance on hold for covered contractors.

Demystify Self-Id Form

Under the regulations, contractors also must use the agency's Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability form to invite job applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify as individuals with a disability.

“Employers shouldn't just e-mail the self-identification form to current employees without explaining in advance the reasons why the company is asking them to complete the self-identification form,” Nadine Vogel, president of Springboard Consulting, a New Jersey-based firm focusing on disability issues in the global workforce, workplace and marketplace, told participants at the Society for Human Resource Management's Employment Law and Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., back in late March.

“The employer understands why the company is sending the form, but the employees may not fully understand why they are being asked to complete the form,” she said during the presentation. Companies will want to stress the anonymity associated with completing the form and explain how the form reinforces the company's branding, messaging and commitment to diversity.

Bloomberg BNA interviewed Vogel after her session.

Bloomberg BNA: During your session, you talked about how companies can use their intranet to centralize the reasonable accommodation request process. How would that work?

Vogel: There should be a visible and accessible section on a company’s intranet site that says if you need a reasonable accommodation click here. Of course, the intranet site should be accessible under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG) so that it is accessible for individuals who may be blind, have a visual impairment, have limited or no use of a mouse or keyboard, experience navigational challenges.

When placing the form on the site, you will want to ensure it appears in a variety of sections where it can be easily found such as benefits, career and human resources self-services portals.

In creating such a process, you will want to establish criteria that is communicated so your employees know that no matter their specific job or level within the organization, their geography and type of disability, their accommodation request is going to be evaluated with the same set of criteria, guidance and anonymity, ensuring that it is a fair and equitable process.

Having this type of process also provides efficiency from both a budgetary and human resource standpoint by reducing duplication of efforts from researching software that may be needed to the actual licensing. Knowing your accommodation expenses also makes it easier to create a reasonable accommodations fund should that be desired.

Bloomberg BNA: Any practical advice about complying with the requirements related to the self-identification form to current employees?

Vogel: A number of companies are not only sending the form to employees via e-mail, but also posting the form on their intranet.

No matter how the form is delivered, it is critical that a communication strategy is developed and utilized that includes conveying the purpose of the form, how it may fit into a larger diversity-related initiative at the company. Making individuals feel comfortable about disclosing their disability status will likely result in a greater percentage of persons identifying as disabled.

In fact, during my session, we heard from a woman in the audience from the financial service sector say that this was the approach her bank had taken and as a result, the bank discovered that 18 percent of its workforce identified as disabled.

Lydell C. Bridgeford

Reporter - Editor of the Employment Law Reference Unit

http://www.bna.com/qa-companys-intranet-b17179925286/


This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.

Springboard Consulting March Newsletter – The Wave

Attached is Springboard's March 2015 Newsletter

We are now closing the first quarter of 2015 and we here at Springboard look forward to seeing you at all of our wonderful, informative Disability Matters Events and ERG Summits!

Click on the newsletter image or the link below to access the entire newsletter

March 2015 Newsletter First Page

https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.87/jv5.034.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/March-2015-Newsletter-Final.pdf


ABOUT SPRINGBOARD®
Founded in 2005, Springboard is recognized as the expert in mainstreaming disability in the global workforce, workplace and marketplace. Serving corporations and organizations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia, Springboard has become a trusted partner in relation to disability issues and initiatives across virtually every business category. Springboard annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote the outreach, support & engagement of people with disabilities as employees and as consumers through the Disability Matters Awards.

More settlements involving online #career-portals not being accessible and including disability-related questions

Just last week the Justice department reached settlements with four U.S. cities to: Dakalb, Illinois, Vero Beach, Florida, Fallon, Nevada and Isle of Palms, SC

  • Remove #disability-related questions from each city’s online job applications, and
  • Ensure #web #accessibility of each city’s online employment opportunities website  to ensure job applications were fully #accessible to people with disabilities, such as those who are blind or have low vision, are deaf or hard of hearing, or have physical disabilities affecting manual dexterity

In recent months, the department reached similar settlement agreements with the city of Hubbard, Oregon, and Florida State University. 

What have you done to:

  • Train employees who make hiring or personnel decisions on the requirements of the ADA?
  • Ensure your careers portal conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (#WCAG) 2.0?

#Springboard can help you avoid such settlements and complaints. 

Call Springboard 973-813-7260 to learn how.

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.

Another suit related to Bullying and Harassment of PwD

I often talk about #bullying and #harassment being prevalent in the #disability community, especially and including in the #workplace.  Just last month the #EEOC charged The Cleaning Authority of Plainfield, Chicago, to pay $15,000 to a former employee as part of a three-year consent decree for harassing an employee with an atypical gait, referring to the employee as “a cripple”, mockingly imitated the way she walks, and told her that she was being a "hysterical basket case" when she objected, creating an abusive working environment.

In addition to monetary relief for the former employee, the decree requires that the company provide #training to its managers and other employees about the ADA, and imposes record-keeping and reporting requirements for the duration of the decree, among other measures.

Unfortunately, this type of harassment and bullying occurs way too often and in organizations that have very clear policies against it.  Springboard’s Disability Etiquette and Awareness Training can and will help.

Contact #Springboard Consulting today to find out how to bring this very important knowledge to your organization.  Call Today! 973-813-7260

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.

The Imitation Game

"Sometimes it’s the people no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine,” this quote comes from the movie The Imitation Game and certainly applies to many if not most people with disabilities.

#PwD #imagination #theimitationgame #alanturing

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.

“Shouldn’t the Police know the Rules they are hired to Enforce?”

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Just two months after a city hall vehicle was photographed parked illegally in an accessible parking spot, a photo was taken of a London police car parked illegally in an accessible parking spot. Supposedly the police chief has ordered an investigation but aren’t the police supposed to know the rules that they are hired to enforce?

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.

Bank of America to Pay $110,000 to a former temporary worker to Resolve an EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit 

The #EEOC alleged that Bank of America failed to #accommodate a visually impaired data entry worker and instead terminated his temporary assignment at one of the bank's branches in downtown Chicago after one day on the job.  In addition to paying the $110,000, the decree includes an injunction requiring the bank provide #reasonable #accommodations to temporary and contingent workers at its branches throughout Illinois, provide for training about the #ADA's #requirements and impose record keeping and reporting requirements for the duration of the decree.

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.

Sony to Pay $85,000 under Decree Resolving EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

#Sony to Pay $85,000 under Decree Resolving #EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit for Allegedly Engineering the Firing of an Employee Because of Her Prosthetic Leg

The employee had been sent by Staffmark Investment LLC, a staffing agency, to inspect Sony televisions on a temporary basis at a facility located in Romeoville, Ill. According to the EEOC, on the employee's second day on the job, a Staffmark employee approached and removed the employee from the worksite, explaining that there were concerns she would be bumped into or knocked down.  Although the employee's removal was executed by Staffmark employees, it was actually prompted by a request from Sony's management which made Sony complicit in the discrimination."  This decree is the second in this case. The first was against Staffmark  which resulted in Staffmark paying $100,000 to the employee.

In addition to paying $85,000 the decree also requires Sony to report all employee complaints of disability discrimination to the EEOC for the next two years, train certain of its managerial and supervisory employees on the laws pertaining to employment discrimination, including the ADA and lastly, provides that Sony cannot require the employee to keep the facts underlying the case confidential, waive her rights to file charges of discrimination with a government agency, or refrain from applying for work with Sony or any of its clients.

John Hendrickson, the EEOC's regional attorney in Chicago, said, "The ADA provides robust employee protections, even for short-term temporary workers hired through staffing agencies. Smart employers will learn from this case that they cannot insulate themselves from liability for discrimination by acting through employment and staffing agencies. That's axiomatic under the civil rights laws we enforce-if you can't do it directly, you can't do it through someone else."

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.

The Minister for Disability Issues’ Annual Progress Report

The Minister for Disability Issues' 2014 annual progress report on implementation of the New Zealand (NZ) Disability Strategy was just released with three of the 13 stated priorities impacting the employment of individuals with disabilities.

They are as follows: 

  • Priority 2: Increase the number of disabled people who transition from school and from tertiary education into employment.
  • Priority 3: Increase the number of disabled people, including long-term unemployed disabled people, in paid employment and self-employment on an equal basis with others.
  • Priority 4: Increase the number of employers who are confident in employing disabled people, with the public sector taking a lead.

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.



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