Agency Wants More Federal Contracts to Include Disabled

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Because people with disabilities have a significantly higher rate of unemployment than those without disabilities, the Department of Labor is planning to shore up affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations for government contractors.



     The regulations proposed by the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs would detail specific actions a contractor must take to satisfy its affirmative action obligations. They also would increase the contractor’s data collection obligations, and establish a utilization goal for individuals with disabilities to assist in measuring the effectiveness of the contractor’s affirmative action efforts. Additionally, the regulations also would implement changes in nondiscrimination obligations, necessitated by the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act.
     Recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that just 21.8 percent of working age people with certain functional disabilities were in the labor force in 2010, compared with 70.1 percent of working age individuals without these disabilities; while the unemployment comparison is 14.8 percent to 9.4 percent.
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