November 16, 2016
In this Issue: Medical & Disability Leave, Federal Employment & More
Demystifying Medical- and Disability-Related Leave
Smart employers recognize the value of supporting employees, especially when illness or injury occurs. Now, a new tool, the “Medical- and Disability-Related Leave Advisor,” helps clarify leave employees may be entitled to take for purposes of managing medical conditions and disabilities. By asking a few relevant questions, this advisor quickly identifies which of several laws – each of which may provide for such leave under certain circumstances – apply to an employer and thus possibly its employees. These laws include the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability-related laws under which leave may be considered a reasonable accommodation. Access the advisor.
Celebrating Gains in Federal Employment
Late last month, the White House, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Personnel Management (OPM), gathered leaders from across the government to celebrate accomplishments in disability hiring in the Federal workforce resulting from Executive Order 13548 and discuss strategies for continued progress. In tandem with the event, OPM released a report revealing that people with disabilities now represent 14.41 percent of the overall workforce, accounting for 264,844 people. This translates to more people with disabilities in federal service than at any time in the past 35 years. Read a blog post about the event or more about the OPM report.
Workplace Accommodations Toolkit
A new “Workplace Accommodations Toolkit” from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides a central source for all things accommodation, including sample policies, templates and checklists, as well as descriptions of different approaches in action. It’s a great resource for any company seeking to establish or refresh its accommodation policies and procedures – and increase inclusion across its organization. It’s also helpful for companies seeking to retain valued talent, given that current employees may develop a need for an accommodation at any point due to illness or injury. Like EARN, JAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Access the toolkit or view a brief video about JAN.
Apprenticeship Works for Inclusion
In honor of National Apprenticeship Week, the U.S. Department of Labor released a new video highlighting the many ways apprenticeship works for employers. Titled “Apprenticeship Works,” this video features interviews with representatives from four organizations who manage or sponsor apprenticeship programs in various fields, including information technology, health care information management and shipbuilding. It also includes statements from a current or former apprentice with each of these organizations speaking about their apprenticeship experiences. The video is one in a two-part series; the other focuses on the value of apprenticeships to apprentices themselves. View the Apprenticeship Works videos.
Recruitment and Hiring
This section of the newly enhanced AskEARN.org website, employers and others can learn about key topics related to the first stage of the employment lifecycle – recruitment and hiring. Topics addressed include sourcing qualified candidates, writing effective job descriptions, conducting interviews, ensuring inclusive internship opportunities, and expressing a company’s commitment to a disability-inclusive workforce. Information specific to attracting and hiring disabled veterans is also provided.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
November 17, 2016, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Tapping the Talents of Veterans with Disabilities: Steps to Success
Ask any employer the skills they seek and any veteran what they learned in the military, and you’ll likely hear the same things – the ability to adapt, learn quickly and get the job done. But, when it comes to recruiting and onboarding veterans, including disabled veterans, not all businesses know where to start. This webinar will lay a path, addressing proactive steps employers can take to attract veterans with disabilities and how to facilitate their success once on the job. Register for the Nov. 17 EARN webinar.
November 17, 2016, 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Webinar: PEAT Talks: Fostering a Culture of Inclusion and Accessibility in the Workplace
Join the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology for a webinar featuring Jenny Lay-Flurrie, the Chief Accessibility Officer of Microsoft, where she leads many initiatives to empower people with disabilities. During the presentation, Lay-Flurrie will share her insights on how to foster a workplace culture centered on inclusion, including through accessible information and communication technology. Register for the PEAT webinar.
January 13, 2017
Deadline: Disability Equality Index Registration
The deadline to register for the 2017 Disability Equality Index (DEI) is fast approaching! Sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities and the U.S. Business Leadership Network – an EARN partner – this benchmarking tool provides businesses an objective score, on a scale of zero to 100, on disability inclusion policies and practices. The first DEI launched in 2014 and was open to Fortune 1000 companies only. Now, companies with 500 or more employees can participate. Learn more about the DEI.
As a fitting conclusion to National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie drafted a post, titled #InclusionWorks for Innovation: How Microsoft is Opening Doors for Everyone, for the U.S. Department of Labor blog. In the post, Lay-Flurrie describes early career experiences that taught her to harness the opportunity disability presents to think creatively about how to solve problems and achieve success – and how Microsoft is committed to a disability-inclusive workforce in order to bring such “out of the box” thinking to its customers worldwide.
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy under a cooperative agreement with The Viscardi Center. For more information, visit AskEARN.org
Preparation of this material was funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant No. [OD-26451-14-75-4-36]. This document does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.