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Assistant Secretary Martinez Speaks at National Braille Press Meeting

Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez spoke to the trustees, members and customers of the National Braille Press, a non-profit braille publisher, at their annual meeting in Boston on June 17. Martinez’s remarks focused on the power of braille literacy in supporting employment opportunities as well as the importance of accessibility in the workplace. “I can say without hesitation that I could not do my job today without braille, and that my braille literacy helped me get where I am today,” Martinez said.

“Same Struggle, Different Difference” — Opportunities for Togetherness — Pride Month Blog

June is Pride Month, and in his June 19 post on the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog site, Dylan Orr, Chief of Staff for the Office of Disability Employment Policy, draws parallels between the LGBTQ+ and disability communities in terms of struggle and support. Recounting his own story, Orr talks about his discovery of the multiple intersections between the two groups. “These intersections have influenced me along my academic and professional path, and the disability community has become my community,” says Orr.

LEAD Center and ODEP to Present Olmstead Anniversary Webinar — July 16, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

One of the most historic legal decisions affecting the civil rights of people with disabilities will celebrate its 15th anniversary this month. On June 22, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered the landmark decision in the Olmstead v. L.C. case, requiring states to eliminate the segregation of people with disabilities and ensure people with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. On July 16, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT, the LEAD Center, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), will host an Olmstead Anniversary webinar to discuss the history and impact of this landmark decision.

OFCCP Posts New Section 503 and VEVRAA FAQs

As part of its on-going effort to provide guidance to the contractor community, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has posted additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) responding to inquiries received from contractors. The FAQs address requirements of the revised regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 503) and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). These new FAQs have been added to the many FAQs already published on the OFCCP website.

New CMS Regulation on HCBS Settings — Implications for Employment Services — LEAD Center Webinar — June 25, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT

In the aftermath of the recent regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) defining acceptable and unacceptable settings for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), states and stakeholders are now considering how to transition their service-provision systems into compliance with the new CMS requirements for greater integration. This new regulation may have a profound impact on employment services. This webinar, to be presented June 25, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT, will explore the potential impact and offer ways to influence implementation relevant to employment.

Wage and Hour Division Issues Guidance on Joint Employment in Domestic Employment under the FLSA

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has received questions from stakeholders regarding how the Final Rule, Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to Domestic Service, 78 FR 60454, regarding joint employment in domestic service employment under the FLSA, may impact consumer-directed, Medicaid-funded programs. The Final Rule modified the “third party employment” regulation to prohibit third party employers of domestic service employees — i.e., employers other than the individuals receiving services or their families or households — from claiming the companionship services exemption from minimum wage and overtime or the live-in domestic service employee exemption from overtime. This regulatory change will require each public entity or private agency that administers or participates in a consumer-directed, Medicaid-funded home care program to evaluate whether it may be a joint employer under the FLSA. In response, WHD has created a new Administrator’s Interpretation and an updated fact sheet to help potential joint employers determine their obligations under the FLSA. The guidance also includes seven detailed hypothetical examples with analyses, based on actual consumer-directed programs.

Build the Pipeline: Outreach and Recruitment via an Employee Resource Group — FDWC News Hour Webinar — July 16, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT

In the 2012 report, Federal Agency Employment Strategies: A Framework for Disability Inclusion (Federal Framework), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy outlined federal best practices for recruiting, hiring, and advancing people with disabilities. The “Build the Pipeline” recommendation from the Federal Framework described effective practices to attract and recruit qualified individuals with disabilities. Engaging Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in recruitment processes is one such practice. This webinar, to be presented July 16, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT, will feature speakers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District, who will share their agency’s philosophy, process, and experiences regarding forming and developing effective ERGs. The session will include Q&A time. Registration is open to individuals with a federal government issued email address.