State Exchange on Employment & Disability
Federal Legal and Policy Framework
Under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are authorized, after receiving a certificate from the Wage and Hour Division, to pay subminimum wages (SMWs)—wages less than the federal minimum wage—to workers who have disabilities “for the job being performed.” The certificate also allows the payment of wages that are less than the prevailing wage to workers who have disabilities for the work being performed on contracts subject to the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) and the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA).
Continue reading “Federal and State Subminimum Wage Legal and Policy Framework”
By Shawntaye Hopkins
The Council of State Governments’ recent Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work webinar explored policies that help people in the workforce following disability or injury incurred on or off the job. The webinar also reviewed ways in which policymakers can use the CSG Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Toolkit as a resource.
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By Sydney Geiger
Eight states have launched projects aiming to provide opportunities for people who experience mid-career disabilities to remain in and return to the workforce. After a competitive selection process, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in partnership with DOL’s Employment and Training Administration and the Social Security Administration awarded eight states with funding for RETAIN Demonstration Projects.
Continue reading “States Launch Pilot Projects to Retain Workers with Disabilities”
By Jennifer Burnett
The Department of Labor has awarded $14,837,785 in grants to six states – California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota and South Dakota – to improve employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities as part of the Disability Employment Initiative. The initiative awards grants to help increase the participation of adults and youth with disabilities in existing career pathway systems and other programs that bring together educational institutions, the private sector and disability advocates.
“Breaking down barriers to employment for people with disabilities is important in order for our country to field a full team and ensure that no worker is left behind,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez in a press release. “The federal grants we’re awarding today will help open many more doors to opportunities, providing people with disabilities with skills they need to achieve economic self-sufficiency.”
In particular, those awarded grants will use the funding to:
- hire or designate a Disability Resource Coordinator, an expert in workforce and disability issues, to achieve program goals;
- foster partnerships and collaboration at the state and local levels;
- integrate resources and services; and
- ensure that local American Job Centers comply with physical, programmatic and communications accessibility requirements.
This is the fifth round of grants through the initiative, which has funded 37 projects across 26 states.
To learn more about this initiative, visit the U.S. Department of Labor.